Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Promendade, 1927-28; watercolor on paper, 38 1/4 x 49 1/8 inches; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Gift of A. Conger Goodyear, 1977
Charles E. Burchfield's Dreams, Journals, August 14, 1946
Saturday, July 14, 2018
#1 — We are living in an upper apartment. We have just adopted a small boy, whom Joe and Ruth had formerly had but had sent us, as they could no longer take care of him. It is evening, a sinister looking man has gotten into our apartment somehow, and is demanding money. When I refuse, he threatens to kidnap the boy. I order him out, and much concerned, Bertha and I go out to keep an engagement at the Carnegie Institute.
#2 — A small select “Founders day” of the Carnegie Institute. The President of the Board was to introduce me to the gathering after dinner, in response to which I was to say a few words. Contrary to actuality, I felt confident I could carry it off well. I cannot remember the scene very well, but it was a small salon with wide arches opening out to other brilliantly lighted rooms. When the president made his introductory speech I was so absorbed in our kidnapping problem, that I never even heard him. My failure to respond only produced tolerant amusement however and the company started to break up. The president had disappeared and I went in search of him, determined to ask his advice as to whether I should inform the police or not.
#3 — We go out, and we find ourselves at the back door of a large mansion. The youngsters are with us. We wish to get to a highway, on which the house faces, and as there are high walls and fences, we go right through the house. It is early morning and there is no one about. We go out the front door, down a little walk, open the gate and are just about to emerge into the street when a policeman stops us. He tells us we are trespassing and can’t come through. I plead with him. He is kindly but firm, we must return to the house, while he arouses the owners and files charges against us. We go back into the house. Seeking some means of escape, I enter another room, but see a woman sleeping in her bed. I hastily withdraw, and we go out the back door; across a meadow. I can see the institute, a sort of Country Club like building. Still obsessed with the kidnapping problem, we go in search of the president again.
I inquire of several people, and am worried because I cannot think of his name. Someone directs me to the men’s wash room, and as I descend the stairs, I awake.
Charles E. Burchfield, August 14, 1946