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Image of Over the Roofs

Charles Ephraim Burchfield (aka Charles E. Burchfield)
American, 1893–1967

Over the Roofs

about 1937

Object Type: Painting
20 3/4 x 29 1/4 in. (52.71 x 74.3 cm)
Medium and Support: Watercolor on paper
Accession Number: 2017.0007.0001

Credit Line: Gift of Babette L. Wampold in memory of Charles H. Wampold

Charles Burchfield was one of the most prolific painters of the American built environment and landscape in the mid-twentieth centiury. Primarily a watercolorist, he depicted much of the landscape, town and city environments of "Middle America"—the small town streets and houses, industrial areas, and the weary, aging structures of an America still recovering from the Great Depression. Over the Roofs’ composition is a reminder of how nature was largely displaced in the 20th century as cities and towns expanded along with urban populations, introducing the concept of suburbia where only small hints remain of nature that once flourished. The single tree appears to struggle to emerge from the surrounding buildings, the sole evidence that the landscape once dominated the space that the built environment now ccupies..

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