"The view from my bedroom window was the entrance to a romantic land."
- Charles Burchfield, journal entry
House to Museum - Our story
After six years of fund-raising and heavy construction work to rehabilitate the house, the Burchfield Museum opened Aug. 13, 1999 to great excitement. An editorial in the local paper, The Salem News, proclaimed it “Salem’s Greatest Cultural Treasure.” Arthur Burchfield, the son of Charles Burchfield, said at the opening, “It’s a dream that’s finally reached a reality. We are thrilled and delighted.” The artist’s daughter, Sally Burchfield Hill, said, “It’s wonderful! They did a great job on the house. When we first saw the house it was not in good condition. I never dreamed they could do this with it. Dad would have been so pleased and proud. It’s a great honor.”
Distinguished art historian Henry Adams, currently curator of American Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, calls the house “a building of extraordinary significance.”
“A visit to the home is a startling experience, for virtually every room inspired a major painting – as did the view from every window,” he said. “I cannot think of another building in America which has inspired so many masterpieces, or which has played such a key role in a great artist’s imaginative vision.”
Jim Epperson, the State of Ohio’s Director of Tourism, recently admired the museum in a tour of cities throughout the state. He noted that tourists have two areas of interest – historical and cultural. He said, “the Burchfield Museum is a perfect example of the way a community can take advantage of both areas at one site.”
The Burchfield Museum was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in April 1999.
By August 2000 we had established a lush backyard flower garden replicating the 1913 garden Burchfield wrote about in his journals. Our plans also include remodeling the small cottage west of the house that Burchfield depicted in his famous “The Nightwind” painting. The cottage will serves as a visitors center where prints, books and other articles are for sale.