Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie

Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie


The book is available through the University of Richmond Museums either by phone (804) 287-6424 or by email:

Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks, Drawings, and Prints of Charles Ritchie is a 72-page, full-color catalog for a touring exhibit of the artist’s work, with a preface by Marjorie B. Cohn. Peter Turchi and Charles Ritchie met at the MacDowell Colony, where Turchi worked on a novel and Ritchie experimented with printmaking. Turchi loaned Ritchie a few cds; Ritchie attempted to teach Turchi to draw a circle. A year later, Turchi wrote the short story “Night, Truck, Two Lights Burning,” inspired in part by Ritchie’s Night in Three Panels:

They then collaborated on the text for Suburban Journals.

Ritchie’s work is unique in that he works on a small scale (many of his images are no larger than a postcard, and almost none are larger than a record album); he works primarily in black and white; and the vast majority of his images are depictions of what he sees in or from the windows of his home studio in suburban Washington, DC. The 121 sketchbooks he has used since 1977 to record and to refine images are only occasionally on public display, and until recently his drawings were not for sale; the best way to view his work was on his website, While his drawings have taken exciting new directions in recent years, the award-winning Suburban Journals remains the most comprehensive published collection of his work. It includes a discussion of the variations he’s created of certain key images, such as the sketchbook watercolor, drawing, and print entitled Rocking Chair:


view a detail of Study for Rocking Chair »



The exhibit originated at the University of Richmond, then moved on to the University of Maryland and the Georgia Museum of Art. Since then, Ritchie’s work has been displayed at Philadelphia’s Gallery Joe, Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina, East Connecticut State University, and BravinLee programs in New York City. His work is in the collections of The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Boston Public Library, The Butler Institute of American Art, The Chrysler Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Fidelity Investment Corporation, the Fine Arts Musuems of San Francisco, the Fogg Art Museum, the Harvard University Art Museums, the Georgia Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, The New York Public Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Yale University Art Gallery. For nearly 20 years Ritchie has been an Associate Curator in the Department of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington.

The catalog, which was printed in a limited edition, is available through the University of Richmond, Virginia, or by contacting Charles Ritchie or Peter Turchi. See Ritchie’s website for work in progress and recent pieces in his Pages series.

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