Charles E. Burchfield: Inexhaustible

Featuring an Essay by Nancy Weekly

With so many ideas to express, Charles Ephraim Burchfield, never static, reinvented himself every decade as the circumstances in his life, the art world, and global events unfolded. Even from his earliest years, he “always drew or painted in water-colors. Colors themselves fascinated me,” he recalled. “I remember one Christmas of getting a rich mauve, which I fell in love with.” He was enthralled by nature, wandering in woods very close to his home in Salem, Ohio, where his mother and five siblings moved in 1898 after his father died. He had what Harvard Professor Howard Gardner would identify in his theory of multiple intelligences as a “naturalist intelligence”: having a special ability to understand and “distinguish the diverse plants, animals, mountains, or cloud configurations in their ecological niche” through not only sight, but auditory perception as well.

-Nancy Weekly