CHARLES E. BURCHFIELD: No, it was a group of houses all huddled together, and they were unpainted and very dark, and it was a gloomy winter day towards evening, and it was reproduced in the Buffalo Evening News on the first page, and somebody had written something about it. I had a letter not long afterwards from a man who lived in one of those houses. And in the meantime the houses had been painted and they looked quite respectable. He said he had been advised to ask me by what right I had painted those houses, and that the neighbors were kidding him because he lived in a neighborhood of beat up old houses, you know. Well, I didn't have any idea whether I had the right to paint them or not, but I asked Judge Sears, who was one of the most prominent men in the legal profession in Buffalo . . .
JOHN D. MORSE: S-e-a-r-s?
CHARLES E. BURCHFIELD: Yes. He was also at that time a director of the Albright Gallery -- that's how I met him -- and I just asked him at dinner one time, and he said, "You can take a photograph, or you can paint a picture of any building there is as long as you don't get on their property to do it, or unless they have a sign on the corner of the house that this house is copyrighted." So I just never even answered the letter. But I did feel kind of sorry for the fellow. He had an inferiority complex and he was being kidded by his neighbors, even though his house had been painted. And incidentally, as a subject, painting the houses just ruined them. I would never have looked at it a second time.