President Lyndon B. Johnson once proclaimed Charles Ephraim Burchfield as an “artist to America.” The watercolorist’s landscapes were a love letter to nature and the world he grew up in and around.
Charles Ephraim Burchfield was born in Ohio in 1893 and attended the Cleveland School of Art from 1912 to 1916, developing his dream-like style. After graduating, he served in the army and, after his discharge, moved to Buffalo, New York, to work as a wallpaper designer. He married Bertha Kenreich soon after, with whom he had five children.
The artist became fascinated with the urban life of Buffalo, abandoning his previously more dream-like style for one closer to naturalistic observation. In 1929, the Rehn Galleries in New York City began to sponsor him, allowing Burchfield to focus on his art full-time. He also developed a close friendship with new artist Edward Hopper.
Later in life, Burchfield decided to “reconstruct” his old style, returning to painting spiritualized landscapes. In 1966, Buffalo State College founded the Charles Burchfield Center. he would die a month later, in January, 1967.