Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), The Insect Chorus, 1917; opaque and transparent watercolor with ink, graphite, and crayon on off-white paper, 20 x 15 7/8 inches; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, New York
Charles Burchfield, Journals, Spring 1919
Friday, May 19, 2017
I was in our backyard at home — had it just been raining and the windy clouds were scattered over the sky?
Suddenly I saw two birds in the northwest—at first, “They are crows” — Then suddenly they came closer — “they are Eagles!” Amazed, I watched a moment, then ran into the house so as to share this wonder with my mother and sisters—we ran out again. More and more appeared; they came closer; they came closer and seem so horrifyingly huge. “They are going to alight in our road—“ They fluttered softly down. I ran up and captured the first—it was a woman, a religiously beautiful woman with great black wings—others came down, mostly males; they air was full—It occurred to us now that they were from an enemy country and had counted on our wonder at magic and beauty to make us reluctant to destroy them—we went into the house, seized guns and prepared for battle.
Charles Burchfield, Spring 1919