Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967)
Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967)
Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967)
Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967)
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Property from the James William Glanville and Nancy Hart Glanville Collection

Ancient Maples in August

Ancient Maples in August
signed with initials in monogram 'CEB/1957' (lower right)—inscribed with title and dated again (on the reverse)
watercolor, charcoal and crayon on joined paper laid down on board
17 x 22 in. (43.2 x 55.9 cm.)
Executed in 1957.
Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, New York.
William Zierler, Inc., New York, by 1970.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the late owners from the above, 1980.
J.S. Trovato, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue of Paintings in Public and Private Collections, Utica, New York, 1970, p. 268, no. 1152.
Post lot text
We would like to thank Nancy Weekly, Burchfield Scholar at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, for her assistance with cataloguing this lot.

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Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

On August 15, 1942, Charles Burchfield wrote in his journal, "...I felt the need of getting out and doing some painting so strongly that after lunch, I hurriedly gathered together my stuff, packed a lunch, and went out. South thru Boston Valley to the Genesee Rd, thence eastward to the Pratham Rd, north on it to first road and turning east. Here I found my subject in a little lone farmhouse, framed in by the half-arch of a maple, close by the road." (C.E. Burchfield, Journals, August 15, 1942, Burchfield Penney Art Center, The Charles E. Burchfield Archives)

Ancient Maples in August recalls this scene from the artist's day exploring rural Ohio. His penchant for presenting ordinary subjects in extraordinary ways is revealed in the present work, in which a pair of maple trees form a window, their canopy almost roof-like, as if to emulate the farmhouse in the distance. As they watch over the land, the trees' character is emphasized by their wrinkles and imperfections like two aging people.

Burchfield continued in his journal, "The tree that I included in my picture, was the last of a row, behind which the land ascended upward abruptly, composed mostly of pasture and wooded tracts. The sound of various obscure activities came from this area - the screen of trees was so dense, that I could only see small portions of the scene beyond. There was the clank of some sort of machinery, men's voices, and occasionally the bawling of a young heifer; which had a contrivance about its neck to prevent it sucking. Later in the afternoon, one of the men apparently was trying to bring the cows in to be milked, and it called for a lot of shouting, running, and cursing. Far from being annoying, these vague goingson, seemed only to make the whole area behind the tree screen one of mystery." (C.E. Burchfield, Journals, August 15, 1942)

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