Charles E. Burchfield, Home on My Bicycle
On View Friday, April 12–Sunday, July 28, 2019
In August of 1920 Charles E. Burchfield wrote in his journal about riding on his bicycle from his hometown of Salem, to Irondale, Ohio, an industrial town to the southeast, near the Ohio River which forms the border between Ohio and West Virginia. His painting Storm Over Irondale was made based on sketches that he made during that trip. He wrote in his journal:
This trip was a source of wonder & delight to me, the increasingly high hills being the cause; it was midafternoon; there was a tremendous calm in the air; the tall white sun seemed motionless.
On June 8th of the following year he wrote about riding home from Cleveland to Salem, Ohio. During the trip of more than 70 miles, he stopped in various towns and even fell asleep in the deep grass in a gutter along the road.
On September 29th and 30th of 2018, Tullis Johnson, Julian Montague and Jim Cielencki rode more than 120 miles from Cleveland to Irondale, Ohio following the approximate routes that Charles Burchfield took in on his bicycle in 1920 and 1921. The ride began at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Wade Park and passed by Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, his childhood home in Salem, and a number of other sites that inspired Burchfield's paintings during his early career.
This exhibition is presented by the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, Steven Lakomy, MD & Cheryl Lyles, Gina & Erik O’Neill and an Anonymous Foundation with support from Lynn T. Stievater. The bicycle trip tracing Burchfield’s route would not have been possible without the generosity of Eden Guateron who shared his home in Cleveland and the hospitality of Donald Wilson who aced as an ambassador for his hometown of Irondale, Ohio.