Charles Burchfield (1893-1967)

photograph of Charles Burchfield in sepia tone
Photo by Peter A Juley & Son


Born in 1893 in Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, Charles Burchfield was drawn to observing the natural world since his youth. He attended the Cleveland School of Art, studying with Ohio watercolorist Henry G. Keller.

Burchfield relocated to Buffalo, New York in 1921, taking a job as a designer for a wallpaper company. After befriending Edward Hopper in 1928, and gaining gallery representation by the Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries in New York in 1928, Burchfield began painting full-time. His transcendental landscapes received critical acclaim. His paintings were the subject of a 1930 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called Charles Burchfield: Early Watercolors 1916 - 1918. 

Throughout his career, Burchfield worked mainly in watercolor - combining realism and mysticism to create fantastical paintings of his surroundings. Although often considered a regionalist landscape painter, Burchfield's work explores an inner relationship to the external world - heightening the mysterious nature of the everyday.


The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State

Schools of Study

Cleveland School of Art, Ohio, 1912-16

Partial List of Collections

The Burchfield Penney Art Center
The Whitney Museum of American Art
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Hammer Museum
The Phillips Collection
The Smithsonian American Art Museum
Numerous Private Collections

Selected Exhibitions

Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1930
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1938
Musée du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France, 1938
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1940
Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 1944
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1946
Tate Gallery, London, England, 1946
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1952

Selected Works in Our Inventory