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The Cover
April 4, 2012

The Sun Through the Trees

JAMA. 2012;307(13):1342. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.381

Warm and sunny energy projects from The Sun Through the Trees (cover), ready to uplift and cheer a long winter's weary heart. Charles Burchfield (1893-1967), melancholic in personality for most of his life, experienced an epiphany of sorts in 1917, calling it his “Golden Year.” The Sun Through the Trees is representative of his creative output during that magic time: a watercolor, bursting with the beauty of nature—stylized, though, in Burchfield's manner—depicting one of the painter's favorite themes. Following study at the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art) until 1916, Burchfield spent a short time in New York City. There he abandoned, after one day, an appointment and a scholarship at the National Academy of Design; he returned to Salem, Ohio, where his mother and siblings resided. It was this rejection of opportunity in New York and, probably later, Paris—the chance that so many other young artists of the period optimized—that shaped Burchfield's quintessence as a purely American painter.

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