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

Construction

1923

Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, New York
Dimensions:
18 in. x 23 3/8 in. (45.72 cm x 59.37 cm)
Medium and Support: Watercolor on paper
Accession Number: 1989.0002.0002

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection


Burchfield derived significant inspiration for his works from walks that he customarily made near his places of residence. This practice of walking and observing is well documented in Burchfield's journals, which he kept for much of his adult life. In 1921, he moved from Ohio to Buffalo, New York and he made many realist-style watercolors of the surrounding areas. This scene of houses under construction reflects one of his preferred subjects—structures or man-made environments that appear derelict or deserted. The quiet abandonment of this scene is given a visual twist, however, by the inclusion of the red kite which drifts lazily in the clear, quiet sky, suggesting an unseen human presence below.

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