Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Song of the Telegraph, 1917-1952; watercolor on paper, 34 x 53 in. (86.4 x 134.6 cm); Collection of William and Rose-Marie Shanahan
Charles E. Burchfield, Journals, February 15, 1955
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Call from Rosalind Irvine about 8:40 – I arranged to pick her up at the Lennox. On the way in, when I went to rub my eye that was itching, I discovered I had come away without my glasses. As it was late & the driving not good, and traffic heavy, I decided to go on, & take a chance (I can see well enough, but my license is invalid unless I am wearing glasses).
After a short session of chatting, we proceeded at once to the studio – Her job was to winnow as much as possible, the early (1915 to 1920) water-colors I had selected for consideration, before Jack came out in the afternoon. We were in the midst of 1917 when Bertha announced lunch.
Jack [Baur} came out soon after lunch – in fact before we had gone back to the studio.
x x x x x x
This visit one of the most pleasant experiences we have had for a long time – They are wholly delightful people, more so than anyone we have encountered in a long time – Easy and interesting to talk to – We enjoyed so much our moments of relaxation (lunches, & highball time). On Tuesday evening they took us to dinner in Buffalo at Nino’s (recommended by Edgar Schenk) – an excellent place.
It was a pleasure going over my work with them in the studio, as they showed a deep interest in all my “periods” – Altogether they chose over 60 for serious consideration for the show.
Jack divulged the thrilling news that plans for the catalogue have been altered somewhat – On the whim of a publisher, he is now planning on a short monograph for the catalogue, with about 60 pages of reproductions and then writing the real monograph for about a 150 page book, which would also include the illustrations.
The show has been postponed about three months (to Jan. 1956) – which is all to the good for all of us.
Another fine bit of news is that the book that he and Lloyd [Goodrich], [James Thrall] Soby and two others are doing on 50 American painters, is now being showed by a publisher who will furnish 50 reproductions in full color (mine being “The Song of the Telegraph”)
It was with real regret that we waved goodbye to them as they drove away in a taxi on Wednesday evening. They think they may have to come again later on, and we hope them will.
—Charles E. Burchfield, February 15, 1955
(*Note: The Song of the Telegraph is on exhibition at the Burchfield Penney Art Center through March 29, 2020.)