Artist biography

Charles Burchfield 1893-1967

American painter, almost exclusively in watercolour. Born in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, of Scottish-Irish origin. Childhood and up to 1921 spent at Salem, Ohio. Studied at Cleveland School of Art 1912-16 under Henry G. Keller. Worked during the summers until 1921 as costs accountant in an automobile parts company. Executed 1916-18 a series of imaginative watercolours based on childhood memories. First one-man exhibition at the Kevorkian Galleries, New York, 1920. In 1921 moved to Buffalo, where he became interested in the architecture of the 1870s and 1880s: numerous watercolours of the Mid-Western scene in a more objective spirit. 1921-8 worked as designer of wallpapers; from 1929 painted full-time. Early watercolours exhibited in 1930 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. From 1943 returned somewhat to the more imaginative and romantic vision of his early work. Died at West Seneca, New York.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.85-6