Charles E. Burchfield inaugurated the Charles Burchfield Center on December 9, 1966 when he cut the threshold ribbon on a brand new arts institution established to bring together people from the community and campus, with an outward focus on the nation. Former library space in Rockwell Hall—a Georgian-style building that served as an icon for Buffalo State University College—was converted to honor one of the most celebrated American painters of the 20th century, who had lived in the region since 1921 and had become a consulting artist for the college.
This year marks our 50th anniversary. Now called the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the museum has grown exponentially, becoming the world’s largest, most comprehensive repository of Burchfield’s art and archives. In addition to being dedicated to the art and vision of Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967), the Center also collects, exhibits and interprets distinguished artists of Buffalo-Niagara and Western New York State. [...]
To honor the museum’s growth in the past five decades, we will reflect on our roots, celebrate our accomplishments, and imagine our future. From Simple Beginnings will reunite original Burchfield masterworks from public and private collections that have not been seen together for 50 years. In addition, the exhibition will feature related studies and archival materials the museum has since acquired, including the only gift of artwork made by the artist during his lifetime. The exhibition is being curated by Nancy Weekly, Head of Collections and the Charles Cary Rumsey Curator, who is the leading Burchfield scholar after 35 years at this museum. From Simple Beginnings will be presented to launch a series of exhibitions and publications dedicated to our golden anniversary.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.