Charles Burchfield Railroad Gantry 1920

  • Not on view

Even when depicting an industrial artifact—here, an overhead gantry above the railroad tracks near the artist's childhood home in Ohio—Burchfield emphasized the presence of nature, his most enduring subject throughout his career. The gray expanse of sky, and the snow-covered ground around the town and train station, invoke a mood of winter bleakness. The wide expanse of tracks suggests train traffic, of which, however, there is none. In 1929, this watercolor was included in MoMA's first exhibition of work by American artists, Paintings by 19 Living Americans, and shortly thereafter it was presented to the Museum as a gift. In 1930, Burchfield was the subject of one of the Museum's first one–person exhibitions.

Gallery label from American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe, August 17, 2013–January 26, 2014.
Gouache on paper
17 3/4 x 24 5/8" (45.2 x 67.5 cm)
Given anonymously
Object number
Drawings and Prints

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