In winter of 1931, Charles E. Burchfield wrote, “The warm February sun shines on my studio door like a benediction – its warmth and cheerfulness fill me with thought of rambles in the fields and swamps when southern horizons are a glare of white fire.” A decade later, he painted The Studio (1942), a somber scene of the modest building with its northern-facing skylights. Charles E. Burchfield: The Studio features this painting and other works, including Salem Bedroom Studio (1917) and a selection of his Conventions for Abstract Thoughts. Other objects and ephemera permit a closer examination of this space, which is permanently recreated at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Burchfield and his young family moved to Gardenville, New York, a verdant farming town south of Buffalo, in April of 1925. The Studio, built behind his home at 3574 Clinton Street, was used for creating art in all seasons and was a significant site of visits by other artists, collectors, curators, and researchers. It also served as a laboratory where he sorted and distilled all of his sketches and notes from nature and determined how to approach each work of art. On a note from 1920 he stated, “Paint boldly, swiftly – try to seize the actual facts but do not haggle around trying to decode if you have them – that is for the studio to decide.”
General admission to the Burchfield Penney Art Center is free to Buffalo State students, faculty, staff, and Burchfield Penney members.