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Burchfield-Penney Art Center Receives Important Burchfield Painting

November Storm will be on View Beginning December 9

Posted: October 31, 2001
Mr. and Mrs. Sherlock A. Herrick Jr. of East Aurora have donated Charles E. Burchfield's 1950 watercolor November Storm to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, which holds the world's largest collection of Burchfield works. November Storm portrays the turbulent change of seasons from autumn to winter.

The painting will be exhibited December 9 through March 24 in an exhibition called November Storm. The exhibition will include other works from the Burchfield-Penney collection and loaned works and that feature storms and autumn to winter transitions. A members' preview reception will be held on December 9 from 2 to 4 p.m. Members of the media are welcome to attend. The reception is scheduled to coincide with the Burchfield-Penney's 35th anniversary. The exhibition and reception are made possible with support from Ciminelli Construction Companies.

Mr. Herrick and Mrs. Herrick met Charles Burchfield and the artist told the Herricks that he felt November Storm was one of his major works. The Herricks said, "We believe that this work shouldn't be in a private collection. We were impressed with Mr. Burchfield's feeling of its importance and believe that it really belongs in a museum, specifically the museum dedicated to the artist and his work, where it can be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come."

Burchfield-Penney Director Ted Pietrzak said, "In times like these, arts organizations like the Burchfield-Penney Art Center rely more than ever on support like this, and the wonderful example it sets for the community. We are truly grateful for their friendship."

Nancy Weekly, the head of collections at the center and a noted Burchfield scholar, said, "November Storm is a magnificent addition to our Burchfield Collection. Until now we had no major paintings dating from 1950." She described the work by saying, "A few colorful leaves remain on the ground, but young trees are bent by the strong icy wind. A sturdy old tree rebuffs the gale that whips a massive white cloud into a winged spirit in the distant blackening sky."

In connection with the display of November Storm in the 1963 exhibition Recent Paintings at Buffalo State College's Upton Hall Gallery, Charles Burchfield stated that he drew inspiration "on a little used road southeast of East Aurora. A full scale blizzard was in progress. I protected myself and my easel by setting my beach umbrella under a hemlock tree, pointing into the wind. There is no snow shown in the painting?I tried to give the illusion of a snowstorm by the treatment of the objects in the painting." The painting was one of five major works that were illustrated in a Buffalo Courier-Express article about the exhibition.

November Storm was originally shown publicly in 1952 as part of the 18th Annual Western New York Exhibition held at the Albright Art Gallery. In 1959 he wrote to a friend: "November Storm is one of my favorites (my favorites must be legion!)- ?[My] moving back and forth between realism and fantasy is always present and I like to feel I can move in any direction I please, and not be committed to a definite course. Only so can youth of the spirit be maintained. It is the feeling and mood at the time that determines the manner; but of course it is obvious that the trend to simplification and reduction of natural forces to abstract (small capital) terms is dominant in these later years and I'm not fighting it!"

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) is one of America's most renowned watercolorists, noted for his sublime renderings of the natural world and his innovative painting techniques. The Burchfield-Penney Art Center was created at Buffalo State College as the Charles Burchfield Center in 1966 to honor his achievements and those of other important Western New York artists.

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Lisa Kane, Public Relations Manager, Burchfield-Penney | 7168784529 |

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