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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Snow Light, 1936; watercolor and graphite on paper, 23 1/4 x 34 1/2 inches; Private Collection

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Snow Light, 1936; watercolor and graphite on paper, 23 1/4 x 34 1/2 inches; Private Collection

Unseen Burchfield

On View Friday, March 9–Sunday, July 1, 2012

Anthony J. Sisti Gallery    John R. Oishei Foundation Gallery   

Charles Burchfield’s adult life was spent living with his family in Gardenville, New York. During this time, many in our community acquired his paintings, prints, drawings, and doodles, either from his dealer, the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in New York, or, in the 1960s, the G Contemporary Gallery in Buffalo. A few friends and acquaintances were fortunate enough to visit his studio and receive a small gift for a special occasion. Many other people began collecting Burchfield’s work after his death in 1967. Today hundreds of individuals cherish his work in the privacy of their homes, tucked away from the public eye.

This exhibition provides the Burchfield Penney Art Center with an opportunity to present a variety of works from private collections of Western New Yorkers. From monochromatic sketches to large colorful landscapes, many of these works are being shown in a museum for the first time.

In 1964, Charles Burchfield expressed his feelings about “The Artist and The Collector” in a manuscript for the exhibition, Outstanding Art Collections of Greater Buffalo: Paintings and Sculptures of the Past Twenty Years, held in the Upton Gallery at the State University College at Buffalo (as they were then known). His thoughtful appreciation for the collectors who supported him - including those “without portfolio” who virtually collected his work by appreciating it and telling him how much they enjoyed it. For him, and the museum, Burchfield collectors will always be respected and applauded.