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Summer Benediction

Summer Benediction

Artist: Charles Burchfield (American, 1893–1967)
Culture: American
Medium: Lithograph on paper
16 x 11 7/16 inches (40.6 x 29.1 cm)
Classification: Print
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Ransom R. Patrick
Label Text:Charles Burchfield is famous for his fanciful, emotionally-charged depictions of nature, interpreted through his own symbolic lens. Although sometimes associated with the American Regionalist group that celebrated the U.S. heartland, he independently found a unique, private mode of expression.

After studying at the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1912-1916, he moved to Salem, Ohio, where he worked in a factory and painted during his spare time. "A curious depression assailed me, and I worked constantly to keep it down," the artist wrote in his journal around 1915. "As I progressed I went further into childhood memories … I tried to recreate such moods as fear of the dark, the feeling of a flower before a storm, and even to visualize the songs of insects and other sounds."

During the 1930s, Burchfield began to paint more industrial and urban subjects, and later, in the 1940s, he shifted to an Expressionistic phase. In works like Summer Benediction, we see this late phase when he returned to more fantastic and sublime subjects extolling the divine in nature.

Object number: 1972.27.1