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Burchfield's 'Golden Year' on display in Burchfield Penney

For every great artist, there comes a moment of revelation that sends echoes through the rest of their career.

If you're lucky, like Charles Burchfield was, that moment comes early, leaving you decades to develop and perfect your work. For the great watercolor painter, that moment came in 1917 when moved back home to Salem, Ohio after attending art school in Cleveland.

In a journal entry he called this time his "golden year," which Burchfield Penney Art Center curator Nancy Weekly took as the title for a new show exploring this formative period in Burchfield's career.

"Forgotten were the frustrations and the longing for more freedom," Burchfield wrote in his journal about his move back home. "The big city was not for me. I was back home in the town and countryside where I had grown up, which were now transformed by the magic of an awakened art outlook. Memories of my boyhood crowded in upon me to make that time also a dream world of the imagination."

That dream world will be displayed at the Burchfield in some 50 paintings, drawings and sketches that illustrate, according to a release, "the ways in which this remarkable artist evolved as an inimitable American landscape painter."

"A Dream World of the Imagination: Charles E. Burchfield's Golden Year": Exhibit runs through Nov. 26 in the Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave. Admission is $5 to $10. Call 878-6011 or visit burchfieldpenney.org.

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