Kenyon College

September Afterglow


Artist: Charles Burchfield
Title of Work: September Afterglow
Year: 1949
Dimensions: 14″ x 19.5″
Material: Watercolor on paper
Photo Line: Canton Museum of Art
Collection Credit: Gift of Ralph L. Wilson, Canton Museum of Art

Hailing from rural Ohio, Charles Burchfield captures the intricacies of light as it permeates this scene. September Afterglow sets the viewer within a verdant field, staring at a sunflower in the foreground that sheds its petals as the season turns. Behind the sunflower, four grey houses huddle together as the sun sets pink in the distance. By cropping the towering trees above us and crowding the canvas with such a lush landscape, Burchfield welcomes us into a scene that seems at once peaceful and picturesque but also marked with melancholy, as the sun sets and the seasons turn. With this work, Burchfield proves himself to be a visionary artist with a perceptive eye for both the optical details and the poignant power of nature. As his good friend and fellow artist Edward Hopper once said, “The work of Charles Burchfield is most decidedly founded, not on art, but on life, and the life that he knows and loves best.”

–Caitlin Cook ‘12 Gund Gallery Associate