SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Charles Burchfield was a famous watercolor artist from the 1910s until his death in 1967. His former home is still standing on East 4th Street in Salem, which is now a museum on the National Register of Historic Places. The people who take care of it were awarded a grant for renovations to the house.
The house is over 130 years old. It looks like a standard house but inside, it holds replicas of work from Burchfield.
“Where we see some of these vibrational movements that indicate bird sounds, it’s just an image of what’s going on in a forest situation. It’s the experience of the forest,” said Sara Baer, president of the Burchfield Homestead Society.
Burchfield lived in the house for the first part of his life before moving to New York.
He enjoyed painting nature and in 1917, had a very productive year.
“During that time, he had what he called his golden year, where he created over 400 artworks based in this home,” Baer said.
Now, the home has been turned into a museum, run by the Burchfield Homestead Society. With the house being over a century old, it’s going to need work done.
“We’re always running around and fixing and patching,” Baer said.
On March 1, the Burchfield Homestead Society was awarded a $3,300 grant from the Ohio History Connection’s Ohio History Fund. They also got a $2,200 grant from the Pearce Foundation of Salem.
The Burchfield Homestead Society will make up about $1,000 more to help with maintaining the house.
“Most of the work that will be covered by those three grants is scraping, painting, caulking of the exterior of the building to keep it in good shape against regular wear and tear,” Baer said.
The next step is to send out the job for contractors to bid on it. They hope to start the work in the summer and keep it in good, physical condition.
“We’re able to invite the community, plein air artist, professional artist that have an infinity for Burchfield to come to this space and be re-inspired again,” Baer said.
The museum will still be open during construction.