In the early years of the twentieth century, Charles Burchfield(1893-1967) began painting mystic and visionary landscapes, and with some of his con­temporaries, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe, and Grant Wood, can be seen to have built the foundations of a particularly American sensibility that the critic Dave Hickey said "continues to evoke an unrepentant, gnostic vision of this vast, rolling, abandoned continent-America without Europe–America without Americans–a massive, alluring kingdom ..."

For most of his life, Burchfield also kept a journal. Over 54 years, he filled nearly 10,000 pages. To call this journal epic would be an understatement. A masterpiece whose bulk has remained unread, it is a handwritten tome that combines elements of the American nature journal with a dash of nineteenth-­century spiritual autobiography.

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