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American Twentieth-Century Watercolors from the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

On View Saturday, April 20–Sunday, July 7, 2002

This traveling exhibition was organized by the Museum of Art at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York. It featured outstanding works from their renowned collection including pieces by Charles E. Burchfield, Charles Demuth, Edward Hopper, George Luks, John Marin, Reginald Marsh, and Marguerite Zorach. This exhibition provided an important context for understanding how Burchfield’s approach to watercolor departed from the mainstream. Burchfield works exhibited included Poplar Walk (1916), The Insect Chorus (1917), Skunk Cabbage (1931), and The Sphinx and the Milky Way (1946), Trees and Fields, Noon Sunlight (1915), Decorative Landscape, Shadow (1916), Country Blacksmith’s Shop (1929), and Locomotive Repair Shop (1936). A section devoted to paper conservation issues pertaining to watercolor painting augmented the exhibition.

The touring exhibition opened in Utica (April 30-July 10, 2000) and traveled to the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum in Rockland, Maine (October 29, 2000-February 4, 2001) and the Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia (March 3-April 29, 2001). Funding for the presentation at the Burchfield Penney Art Center came from Key Bank, the Seymour H. Knox Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Programs included:

Lecture and Opening Reception: April 19.

“Our Good Friend, Edward Wales Root, Watercolor Collector” by Munson-Williams-Proctor curator Mary Murray

“Gatherings: Crossing Artistic, Ethnic, and Gender Borders: April 21. Poetry readings by Eric Gansworth, Ann Goldsmith, and Jorge Guitart. Musical performances by composers Michael Colquhoun and Persis Vehar. Exhibition of paintings by Catherine Parker and Michael Tunney.

Watercolor Workshop for Adults: May 18. Joseph Orffeo guided participants in traditional and non-traditional techniques.
Children’s Watercolor Workshop: June 1. Elizabeth Samuels and Clare Poth guided children ages 7-12 in exploring fundamental watercolor applications.

“Beyond Imagery: Burchfield’s Watercolor Techniques”: June 9. Slide presentation by Paper Conservator Patricia D. Hamm and Head of Collections Nancy Weekly.