Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Snow-Covered Alley, January 1916; watercolor and gouache on paper, 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, February 9, 1962
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Feb. 9 – Friday –
Gray day – N.E. wind – a fine, salt-like snow.
A.M. called Dr. Gurney – he said my sugar count was down to 192, and that therefore at the moment there would be no justification for the change-over to insulin injection. Good news, for I do not really want to make the change.
B+I to the Albright-Knox gallery – our first visit – the Van Gough exhibit our first objective which was everything we expected, altho many of our favorites were missing – but again there were many I had never seen before.
To go from these wonderfully deeply felt, and magnificently expected personal reactions to life and nature, into the new wing with its preponderance of (seemingly) hundreds of enormous inept daubs and smears, and crudely put together scraps of woods + metal (masquerading as sculpture) constituted a terrific jolt. They were magnificently presented with almost perfect lighting – probably better than most museums, (although of course I have not seen many of the newer ones). It makes the Guggenheim spiraling gallery or exhibition ramp seem like a stunt.
Met [unintelligible name], Mrs. Bissel, + Joan Reeves.
We had intended getting lunch there, but the restaurant was full, so we went downtown and had lunch at Hengerer’. The welcome we get here is always pleasant.
The snow by now was almost rain – it made driving on the Thruway very messy – the windshield so coated it was hard to see, and the wind-shield [wipers] took this occasion to stop working.
When I got in, I put in a call to John [Clancy], but he was not in. However, about an hour later, he called back and we had a good long talk. He said he had sent me a letter telling he had received the “Moonlight in a Flower Garden” and was “wild about it.”
We discussed the drawings. He said he had not understood – about photographing the drawings and then not sending the drawings down at all. We agreed such a procedure was not to be thought of. I told him I hoped to send the drawings to him next week.
When I mentioned the Ford Foundation and the business of presenting my picture to some institution, John suggested Salem, Ohio (I had thought of Valparaiso, but perhaps Salem is more logical).
He said he had some good news – that a couple in Philadelphia had bought the “Moon and Thunderhead” which pleased me very much, as this was one I feel is “ahead of its time and therefore probably would not readily find a buyer.
Evening Tony Sisti out for a visit – a pleasant couple of hours.
Mart called and Peggy would be coming over after the confirmation class for the week-end (no school on Monday the 12th).
Bed time music – Virgil Thomson’s movie music which has not lost its first hearing charm; but rather grows with every playing.
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 9, 1962