Artist: Charles E. Burchfield // Title: "Dandelion Field // On view in "Burchfield Botanicals" through Nov. 2 in the Burchfield Penney Art Center
We often don't think of curators as detectives, but that's exactly the role Burchfield Penney Arts Center curator Nancy Weekly took on recently when a long-lost painting by Charles E. Burchfield surfaced in New York City. According to a fascinating blog post by Weekly, the New York City auction house Christie's contacted her for help in authenticating the painting as a genuine Burchfield. Through a labyrinthine series of investigations into Burchfield's journals, the Burchfield Penney's extensive archives and other historical documents and exhibition catalogs, Weekly was able to say with certainty that the painting was indeed by Burchfield's hand and had simply fallen through the cracks.
And now, for a relative steal, it belongs to the Burchfield Penney.
"Christie’s New York in Rockefeller Center put the painting up for auction as Lot 177, estimated to sell for between $8,000 and $12,000—a modest amount for one of Burchfield’s early paintings with such an interesting history. With the backing and approval from the board of trustees, the Burchfield Penney Art Center placed the winning bid on February 26, 2014; thus welcoming this little treasure into the collection."
Read Weekly's entire post here, and check out "Dandelion Field' in the "Burchfield Botanicals" exhibition opening Thursday.