Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Big Tree, ca. 1955; watercolor on paper, 40 x 26 inches; Image from the Burchfield Penney Art Center Archives
Charles Burchfield, Journals, March 10-11, 1955
Friday, March 15, 2019
The jury meeting (Watty, Gene, Hon, Carl, Oronzio & Myself)—
The work the lowest in standard that I remember. We finally gave six fellowships, but, as Henry pointed out, it was the first time that one received a unanimous vote—
The abstract cliché is very worked and re-worked over & over again.
A disturbing incident: Huge canvases (submitted) by Kline whose “art” consists of swiping a six inch brush dipped in black paint across a white canvas. Henry said his “sponsors” all took the same line, i.e. —that here was the greatest artist produced by the 20th century. —One of the men was Thomas Hess of the Art News—and the other Andrew Ritchie. Both men know better so their attitude must be one of the aim to destroy painting—but why?
Charles Burchfield, March 10-11, 1955