Raised in Ohio, Burchfield found his way to Buffalo, NY by 1925, later moved to West Seneca, NY, and then finally to Gardenville, NY. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art (1916), he was influenced by his teacher, the artist Henry Keller (1869-1949). Burchfield was notably friends with the artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967), whose work is also in the collection at MAM.
Like Henry David Thoreau, whose writings inspired him, Burchfield saw nature as a source of spirituality and was especially awed by the changing of the seasons. This watercolor is a view across the backyards from his studio in Gardenville. Fresh snow dusts the tops of the wire fence and fence posts, the rooftops, and the tree branches. The artist’s lively brushwork animates the bare branches, making them seem alive, even in the dead of winter. Foot prints in the snow and suggestions of blue shadows and yellow light also animate the composition.
Burchfield’s remarks in his journal reflect his emotional responses to winter: “I suddenly realized that today was a perfect ideal winter’s day. The bright golden sunshine reflected in the glare of the snow-covered fields, the calm cold air…and the silence of things—all these consummated a perfect harmony of nature.”
Text Written by Liz Frasco (Social Media and Communications Specialist)
This work is not currently on view.