Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Winter Landscape with Stream, 1931; watercolor on paper, 23 x 34 inches; Private Collection
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, January 13, 1931
Saturday, January 13, 2018
A damp wind brings a blizzard out of the S.W. a fine powdery snow—
The day spent by writing a letter to Rev. Walker who would convert me to Lutheranism. After being drawn into such arguments, and compelled to make a definite statement, there is always a sense of shame for having spent the time & mental effort to do it— But one thing it did for me—it freed me to take stock of myself and made me realize with greater force; the joy of my freedom.
+Excerpt from Charles E. Burchfield, Signed autograph letter to Rev. Martin Walker, January 13, 1931, 11 pages, Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Charles E. Burchfield Archives, Edna M. Lindemann Bequest, 2007
Gardenville, N.Y. Jan 13, 1931
My dear Rev. Walker:
I am returning herewith the two books you so kindly lent me some time ago. I have read them over, and regret to say that I found little in them to interest me. The thing that I always find in books written to “prove” that the supernatural elements of the Bible are true, is that the writers cannot, or at any rate do not put themselves in the place of the unbeliever, and build their proofs from “nothing” up. The validity of their proofs depends first of all upon the acceptance of the divine origin of the book. So it is with Dr. Kelly. His book is not so much a proof as a rhapsody of belief. And indeed how can a man who believes put himself in the place of an unbeliever, or vice versa – I wouldn’t think of taking your or my time to go into details about his book.
You will say to yourself “There are none so blind as those who refuse to see” — and you will be right. My inability “to see” arises directly from my innate desire “not to see.” I literally abhor the thoughts of becoming an orthodox Christian....
Charles E. Burchfield, January 13, 1931