SOLD Rocks and Stumps, 1918

by Charles Burchfield (1893–1967)
Watercolor and charcoal on paper
24 x 17½ inches (sight size)
Signed and dated lower right: Chas Burchfield / 1918 –; on verso: April 14, 1918 / “The Cave” / Not for sale



Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, New York

Mrs. Stanton Armour, Lake Forest, Illinois, acquired from above, by 1983

Sale, Christie’s, New York, New York, May 18, 2021, lot 249, from above


Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, New York, New York, Early Water-Colors by Charles Burchfield, 1917-1918 Period, November 20–December 16, 1939, no. 25

(Probably) Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, Burchfield’s Seasons, April 27–June 11, 1982 (as Rocks and Trees)

Terra Museum of American Art, Evanston, Illinois, Two Hundred Years of American Painting from Private Chicago Collections, June 25–September 2, 1983, no. 48 (as The Cave)


Early Water-Colors by Charles Burchfield, 1917-1918 (New York: Frank K. M. Rehn Galleries, 1939), no. 25.

Joseph S. Trovato, Charles Burchfield: Catalogue of Paintings in Public and Private Collections (Utica, NY: Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 1970), 77, no. 435.

John I. H. Baur, The Inlander: Life and Work of Charles Burchfield 1893-1967 (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1982), 85, 88, fig. 61 (as Rocks and Trees).

(Probably) John I. H. Baur, “Burchfield’s Seasons at Kennedy Galleries,” ArtNews 81 (May 1982): 10–13 (as Rocks and Trees).

David M. Sokol, Two Hundred Years of American Painting from Private Chicago Collections (Evanston, IL: Terra Museum of American Art, 1983), 28, 38, no. 48.

Colleen Lahan Makowski, Charles Burchfield: An Annotated Bibliography (Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1996), 52 (as The Cave), 93 (as The Cave), 106 (as Rocks and Trees).

Related Works 

The First Hepaticas, 1917–18, watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, 21½ x 27½ inches; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

White Violets and Coal Mine, 1918, watercolor and gouache on paper, 23⅛ x 21¼ inches; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

Note: According to scholar Nancy Weekly, the verso inscription of “The Cave” may reflect a change of heart by Burchfield over the original title, Rocks and Stumps, while preparing for a later exhibition. The artist made a note to his sister identifying the location as Schilling’s Mill, which was likely near his hometown of Salem, Ohio.

Artist Biography

Watercolorist with Romantic Realist Vision of American Life

By Amy Spencer

Best known for his romantic watercolors, Burchfield developed a unique style, swinging between realism and fantasy, to express his profound respect for the American landscape.

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VII. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Charles Ephraim Burchfield is celebrated for his visionary paintings of the American

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