The Prints of Charles Burchfield

Charles E. Burchfield (1893 - 1967) is primarily known for his paintings, mostly in watercolor.
He did, however, do a few prints: (at least) eleven etchings, eleven wood engravings, and three lithographs.

His etchings, aside from "The Beech Tree", only exist as proofs pulled in in 1919.
The numbers of the proof impressions were small but uncertain. "The Beech Tree" and nine other titles were
listed in the catalogue by Leona Prasse (see reference below), but another we may call "Cloud over Tree"
exists in the Burchfield Penny Art Center collection.
Here is one of the 1919 proofs showing a quarry near Lisbon, Ohio

The Quarry

It is without doubt the Logtown Quarry, which is now a popular rock-climbing site. (This the likely site
depicted in Burchfield's 1919 painting "Trilliums and Rock Ledge".)

Here are nine of the wood engravings. They were done in collaboration with Julius J. Lankes (1884 - 1960).
Burchfield did the drawings directly on the wood blocks and Lankes then cut the blocks.

The first of these, "Uprooted Tree", is typical of Burchfield's approach to nature. It is a perfectly
realistic image of at tree torn from the earth by a storm, but from a point of view that suggests a
creature crying out in pain.

Uprooted Tree

The following images illustrate small-town America. Burchfield grew up in Salem, Ohio.

The Haymow


Carolina Village

Saturday Night

There was also a plan with Lankes' brother Frank to publish an illustrated edition of the Biblical book "Ecclesiastes".
While this project was never carried out, Burchfield and J.J. Lankes completed four of the wood engravings.

The Heavens

The Whirling Wind

The Deserted City

This one is atypical for Burchfield, who avoided figure drawing!:

Cain and Abel

Sometime around 1940, Burchfield authorized a serigraph (i.e., silkscreen) based on a 1916 watercolor. Burchfield's correspondence mentions undertaking this project with the publisher Charles Boni. It is titled

Sunflowers and Red Barn

Burchfield himself didn't know how many were printed or how they were distributed. Some auction listings say it was published in 1942 by "American Living Art, Inc." (The edition size may have been 50, based on another silkscreen they published.)
Burchfield wrote that it shows "sunflowers in our back alley, hot Aug. sunlight, McCarty's red barn"
behind the family home in Salem, Ohio. While this print looks rather abstract, it is based on close observation of the scene.
(The black horizontal stripe in the upper right, for example, is the shadow of the eave of the house behind the barn.)
Czestochowski (below) doesn't list this work.
If anyone knows more about this print (date, edition, printer, etc.), I'd like to hear from you.

The last prints Burchfield made were three lithographs. They are very much in the style of his later paintings.
Here are scans of these prints:

Summer Benediction

Crows in March

Autumn Wind


Czestochowski, Joseph S., The Published Prints of Charles E. Burchfield,
American Art Journal, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Nov., 1976), pp. 99-110.

Prasse, Leona E. The Drawings of Charles E. Burchfield, Catalogue of an Exhibition at the
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1953. See pp 30-31, The Prints of Charles E. Burchfield