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Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Rainy Day, 1935; watercolor on paper, 37 1/4 x 31 1/4 inches; Private Collection

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Rainy Day, 1935; watercolor on paper, 37 1/4 x 31 1/4 inches; Private Collection

Scott Propeack on the Passing of C. Arthur Burchfield

Thursday, January 10, 2013

C. Arthur Burchfield (June 1, 1929 - January 10, 2013), the son of the Charles E. and Bertha Burchfield, passed away at his home in Poughkeepsie, New York exactly forty-six years to the day after his father’s death on January 10, 1967. Arthur was a life-long employee of IBM, a company which he took great pride in being a part their management team working in their international division. More so than his career, he was dedicated to his family; his father Charles, mother Bertha, sisters Sally, Catherine, Martha, Mary Alice, wife Violet and children Arthur, Jim, Nancy and Cindy.

His love of family was clearly evidenced in his dedication to his father. For the 46 years since his father’s passing, he has lead the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation. During this time, he was constantly concerned that the proper recognition of Charles Burchfield’s vision was understood, experienced and shared with the world. This was accomplished through the promotion of exhibitions around the world and donations to many institutions of his paintings and archives. Arthur inspired in others a love and appreciation of his father’s work that he had as a son.

Arthur was a dear friend and supporter of the Burchfield Penney from the early years of the Center. After his father died in 1967, only one month after celebrating the opening of the museum, he took an active role as president of the Charles Burchfield Foundation, and supported the Burchfield Penney as caretaker of his father’s legacy. The Burchfield Penney benefited greatly from his generosity as the leader of the Burchfield Foundation. Through his support, the foundation awarded gifts of Burchfield’s journals, an archive of over 25,000 objects and support for the building of the museum, many exhibitions and the capital campaign for the new museum.

Many of us at the Burchfield Penney were lucky to call Arthur a friend. And, though he did not live his adult life in Buffalo, his heart was never far from Western New York. He was a fierce supporter of his father’s memory – and a partner in preserving the artist’s legacy for generations. He will be missed.

Scott Propeack
Associate Director, Exhibitions and Collections
Burchfield Penney Art Center