Three Generations of Burchfield on Display in West Seneca

Three Generations of Burchfields
Works from the Schoene Collection in the MBR Atrium
Guest curated by Dr. Gerald Mead

West Seneca, NY - In February 2022, The Town Board dedicated the Atrium of the West Seneca Community Center and Library to Martha Burchfield Richter (MBR), granddaughter of Charles E. Burchfield. This collaboration between Town Supervisor Gary Dickson and Louise Schoene has created an additional space in the Town of West Seneca for art and culture. The MBR Atrium puts West Seneca “on the map” as a landing space for tourists.

Renowned watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield and his artistic descendants quite possibly could be referred to as Western New York’s “first family” of artists, and they all resided in West Seneca at varying points of their lives. It is highly appropriate therefore that this collection of their works, passionately acquired by art patron and collector Louise Schoene over many years, be presented in the Martha Burchfield Richter Atrium of the West Seneca Community Center & Library. This selection of works is a condensed version of what was presented at the Kenan Center in Lockport as the highlight of their 50th anniversary in 2017. These artworks, spanning nearly a century, offer a rare opportunity to see the work of Charles Burchfield in concert with his daughters Martha Richter and Catherine Parker and grand-daughter Peggy Richter Haug. Dr. Mead's intent for this exhibition is to "encourage viewers to discern the similarity and dissimilarity of the artists’ depictions of their shared subject of the natural environment and all of its characteristics and phenomena." 

About the artworks, Louise Schoene comments, “It has been a labor of love to acquire and preserve for posterity the works by the Burchfield family on view in this exhibition. One of the many joys of collecting these artists has been the opportunity to more fully appreciate their’ unwavering love of nature expressed so beautifully through their creativity.”

“Because of Louise Schoene & Gerald Mead, we are able to make works of art by famous West Seneca artists accessible to our residents. In between famous Burchfield shows, we also display works of art by local West Seneca artists, like our very own West Seneca School District and West Seneca Art Society. It is important to create spaces like this to appreciate the arts and talented works of individuals born out of our town. Who knows? Maybe one of the students or society members will become the next ‘Burchfield’, said Gary Dickson, Town Supervisor.

Captions for attached images:

“Redbirds and Beech Trees” by Charles E. Burchfield, his 1924 wallpaper design produced by M. H. Birge & Sons Company, from the Collection of Louise Schoene.


Redbirds and Beech Trees 1924 - Wallpaper designed by Charles E. Burchfield.jpg