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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Studio Doodling, undated; conté crayon, graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper, 11 x 17 1/4 inches (27.9 x 43.2 cm), Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of the Artist, 1967

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Studio Doodling, undated; conté crayon, graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper, 11 x 17 1/4 inches (27.9 x 43.2 cm), Burchfield Penney Art Center, Gift of the Artist, 1967

Charles E. Burchfield: Thinking in Visual Terms

On View Friday, November 9, 2012–Sunday, March 17, 2013

Charles E. Burchfield Rotunda   

In 1967 fourteen doodles were donated to the new Charles Burchfield Center, named in honor of the painter and his contribution to American art. These objects, donated by Burchfield himself, would help form the foundation for a growing permanent collection.

In a statement that accompanied the doodles, Burchfield wrote:

It should not be assumed that such doodling has no value: true most doodles are trivial and 
meaningless,or worse, are boringly repetitious. Nevertheless it can be a form of subconscious 
thinkingin visual terms. Some of my most useful abstract motifs (used in many serious pictures, 
early and late) come from such seemingly idle diversions.

Throughout the Burchfield Penney’s history, hundreds of doodles have been added to the archives and permanent collection. Collectively, they help us better understand Burchfield’s visual language. Charles E. Burchfield: Thinking In Visual Terms examines the diversity and meaning of this “seemingly idle diversion.”