Charles Burchfield Site Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Artist’s Golden Year

This past spring, through the collaborative efforts of the Burchfield Homestead Society and several other community development groups, an impressive mural dedicated to painter Charles Burchfield was unveiled in downtown Salem, Ohio.  The town lays claim to the boyhood home of Charles Ephraim Burchfield (1893-1967), who gained national fame for his depictions of local scenery and everyday life.  Burchfield lived in Salem, in the home that now serves as a museum, well into his twenties and it was a touchstone for his art production. 

Burchfield, who began painting in high school, eventually attended the Cleveland School of Art.  In 1917 the artist had, what he coined in his own diary, his “Golden Year.”   He completed over 400 paintings in that year and 2017 marks the 100th-year anniversary of that achievement.  The Burchfield Homestead Society is spearheading a yearlong calendar of events and programs to celebrate this milestone.  They have also restored the floorplan of the house to reflect how it looked in that golden year.   

At the annual meeting of the society, they unveiled the banner on State Street, which sets the tone for the rest of the anniversary, which seeks to inspire and educate both their local community and the world about the legacy of Charles Burchfield.  The banner also draws attention to the recent remodeling of the Salem Public Library.

Many hands contributed to making the banner a reality including the SOD Center, Butech Bliss, RH Homeworks, the Salem Public Library, Downtown Salem Partnership, the Salem Beautification Committee and  donor Bob Sebo.  Many more helped gather information for the banner’s content.

The banner is displayed downtown to drawn attention to Burchfield's roots and his many paintings of Salem and the surrounding area.  Burchfield embodies the concept of “local boy makes good.”  He was named "Best U.S. watercolorist”  by Time magazine in 1856 and “artist to America” by President Lyndon Johnson.

For more information about the events marking this landmark year at the site Click here