Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Crows in March
  • Charles Ephraim Burchfield
    born: Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio, United States ; died: West Seneca, New York, United States
  • Crows in March, 1951
  • Where object was made: United States
  • lithograph
  • Image Dimensions Height/Width: 345 x 244 mm
    Image Dimensions Height/Width: 13 9/16 x 9 5/8 in
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 404 x 302 mm
    Sheet/Paper Dimensions: 15 7/8 x 11 7/8 in
    Mat Dimensions: 20 x 16 in
  • Museum purchase: R. Charles and Mary Margaret Clevenger Art Acquisition Fund
  • Not on display
  • 2013.0007
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
“Holding Pattern: New Works at the Spencer Museum,” Sep-2014, Susan Earle and Cassandra Mesick
Although better known for his watercolors and paintings, American artist Charles Burchfield created a limited number of prints during his career. This example of Burchfield’s printmaking skills stylistically and thematically evokes his work in other media, which often show both natural and constructed landscapes animated with an unseen yet omnipresent spirit. The haunting and enigmatic Crows in March challenges the viewer to confront reality, which to Burchfield is a rather nebulous affair: “An artist must paint not what he sees in nature, but what is there. To do so he must invent symbols, which, if properly used, make his work seem even more real than what is in front of him.” Indeed, the birds, clouds, and vegetation in Crows in March are depicted in such a way to lend them dynamism but also suggest calligraphic and totemic symbols.