Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), New Moon, undated; charcoal, graphite, gouache and watercolor on paper, 35 3/4 x 47 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Charles E. Burchfield Foundation Archives, Gift of the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 2006
Charles E. Burchfield: A Resounding Roar
Presented in part by the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation
On View Friday, March 13–Sunday, August 23, 2015
On March 23, 1920 Charles E. Burchfield wrote:
What undiscovered music there is in our world – yesterday in the shop – the harsh ear-splitting scream of iron against emery, with an undertone of mystical human exertion – Sunday the call of crows in the vast empty March air… the roar of waterfalls punctuated by the short sharp chop of axes on wood – at evening, the huge black valley with its white river & moon sliver… from afar comes the clang of a country church.
The sounds of nature, industry and humanity would inspire Burchfield throughout his career. Early works depict the sound of crickets as they chirp away in the bushes around his childhood home. The resounding roar of a passing train, or the delicate call of a bobolink could be the impetus for a series of works lasting decades. Later works are inspired by his favorite composers Ludwig van Beethoven and Jean Sibelius. Charles E. Burchfield: A Resounding Roar presents the artist's love and appreciation of different sounds and the works he made in response to them.