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Now is the Time to Buy
Interest and excitement continues to build around Burkhart. Much of this is driven by the recent release of the book, ‘Emerson Burkhart, A Painter’s Song of Himself’, by Michael Hall. This is the first authoritative treatment on Burkhart since his death in 1969. If you have been considering the purchase of a painting or watercolor by Burkhart, now is the time to do so. Now that the book has been released, it is likely that growing interest in ‘American Scene’ art and artists in general, and Burkhart in particular, may well lead to increased prices for his work.
Biography of Emerson Burkhart
Emerson Burkhart was born near Kalida, Ohio in 1905. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1927, studied at the Art Student's League in New York City and subsequently travelled to Provincetown, Massachusetts where he took instruction from Charles Hawthorne. In 1931 he returned to the Midwest and taught at the Columbus, Ohio School of Art. He was an early member of the Ohio Art League.
Burkhart was primarily an American Scene painter, although he painted in impressionist, post-impressionist and realist styles at different points in his career. Among his many subjects, he documented African-American life in Columbus that recalls the canvases of Ivan Le Lorraine Albright. Additionally, he created paintings depicting his disdain for wretched excess and our evolution to a disposable society. Burkhart is also well known for his street scenes
He received two WPA mural commissions, one at Stillman Hall on the campus of Ohio State University, and the now infamous mural painted above the auditorium of Central High School in Columbus, Ohio. Just several years after the mural's completion, the school principal had the mural whitewashed as it was too 'risqué' and inappropriate for young minds. It was only sixty-five years later that the mural was restored and given a new home at the Columbus Convention Center.
His wife, Mary Ann, was a model who posed for Edward Hopper and Eugene Speicher among others. After the premature death of his wife in 1955, Burkhart traveled as Artist-in-Residence for the International School of America, founded by one of his patrons, Karl Jaeger.
Burkhart continued to paint prolifically throughout the 1960's until he suffered a stroke and passed away in November 1969 at his home in Columbus, Ohio.
To learn more about Burkhart, you can enter his name into any of the major search engines and browse a variety of web sites devoted to his work and life. The first definitive biography on Burkhart, 'An Ohio Painter's Song of Himself' by Michael Hall, will be released on October 31, 2009. It is available through most book sellers on
Original Art for Sale by Emerson Burkhart and Other Selected Artists
EmersonBurkhart.info was established to provide a web-based marketplace solution for collectors buying and selling original works by this renowned American Scene artist and other quality works of art. The pieces offered for sale on this site are not brokered by dealers, rather by individuals, thus reducing the need for expensive commissions. On approval, the cost to consign is $50 for up to six months. Commissions are 15% of the selling price if paying by check or 18% if by PayPal due at the time of sale. Any art for sale must be delivered to us prior to listing in order to fulfill timely delivery to purchasers.
Landscape with White House, Mountains and Lake - 1918
This painting by Burkhart may be the earliest example of his work. Painted in 1918 at the age of 13, Burkhart gave this painting to his cousin. He had no formal training yet one can see the potential the young man had at an early age.
Exhibitions of note:
'The Paintings of Emerson Burkhart' – A Retrospective Exhibition', November, 1970, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio
'Emerson Burkhart – A Retrospective', October 11, 1985 – January 5, 1986, The Great Southern Hotel, Columbus, Ohio, Curated by Mrs. Kiehner 'Tibbi' Johnson
'Emerson Burkhart – The Early Work', January 11 – February 16, 1986, Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Produced with the assistance of Mr. Jim Keny, Keny and Johnson Gallery, and Ms. Jean Robinson and Mr. Steven Rosen of the Columbus Museum of Art
'Midwest Realities: Regional Painting 1920-1950', April 13 – June 17, 1995, at the Riffe Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, organized by the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center, Portsmouth, Ohio.