This website is a tribute to the life and artwork of Western Massachusetts artist Robert Strong Woodward (1885 -1957).
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In Memoriam for
                          our Founder

Dr. Mark Purinton

Dr. Mark "Doc" Purinton
April 28, 1926 - March 4, 2020

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of this website's founder and patriarch Dr. Mark Purinton.

"Doc", as he wanted to be called, passed peacefully in his home, as he slept, with his loving wife of 70 years, Barbara, and daughter Laurel by his side. He was 93 years old.

I cannot express the deep heartbreak for the loss of such a remarkable man. There is not a page on this website that does not have his fingerprints on it. Every feature, every minute detail is inspired by his amazing vision. Started in 2002 and at the virile young age of 75, Doc recognized the potental of the internet, to bring to the public, the story of the artist and man for which he owed so much. An amazing tribute to a man he loved and admired.

Doc, in many ways, is the embodiment of Woodward's legacy, his torchbearer, their legacies will be linked forever.

BCM

He did not leave us without a final word. Doc had prepared an addendum to his story, "Kid on the Street," for after his death. Please, click on the link below and read the wonderful story of Doc's relationship and time with Woodward.


The Family ask that in lieu of flowers you please make a donation to:

The MARY LYON CHURCH
[The First Congregational
Church of Buckland]

"STAINED GLASS
WINDOW FUND"
P.O. Box 87
Buckland, MA 01338
Attn: "Treasurer"


A hundred years ago: 1920

A hundred years ago this year, Woodward's career is in a dramatic up swing after winning the First Prize in the Hallgarten Award category for best artist under the age of 35 at the National Academy of Design. He would continue finding that success in painting the powerful, dusk-lit, wooded scenes from the stoop outside his Redgate Studio. [see our Quintessential Redgate Gallery]


Monthly Featured Artwork from our 2020 Calendar: Afternoon Shadows

Afternoon Shadows, a painting by Robert Strong Woodward. The March view as depicted on the 2020 Buckland Historical Society Woodward Calendar.

Website's Key Features

Welcome to RobertStrongWoodward.com! The website is divided into two main features. First is the Gallery of Woodward's artwork sorted in themes and then alphabetically. There is also the Scrapbook which contains collections of stories, memorabilia and specific citations related to Woodward, his life and achievements. It is at once a tribute and historical record of Woodward and the life and times from which he drew his inspiration.

Woodward's Studios

As a result of Woodward's handicap and thus limited mobility, his studios, by extension, provide a significant insight to the artist and his work. From his early paintings of the woods and brook behind Redgate, to the infamous wind blown beech tree atop Heath Pasture and his stunning window paintings from his Hiriam and Southwick studios you gain appreciation for the artist's work.



The Artwork Galleries

The galleries consist of nearly 800 known works of art created by Woodward. We have some form of an image for approximately 75% of them! The galleries are organized in two ways. The first is the Theme Gallery, sorted into 25 categories. The second is alphabetical, making up 8 separate galleries plus a gallery of artwork RSW didn't name or we do not have a name for at this time. Plus, visit our Complete Works List and surf the website from there!




Our Recollections Scrapbook

The Recollections Scrapbook is a collection of personal accounts from people who either knew Woodward personally or related to us an experience they have had related to Woodward. A number of the stories told come from this website's originator, Mark Purinton (seen in picture to the left with Woodward), who started working for Woodward as a boy.


Painting Stories Scrapbook

This is our "story behind the paintings" collection. It includes some of Woodward's favorite subjects, such as, his neighbor Harrison Keach's Farm, the Halifax (VT) House and the North Window of his Southwick studio. There is also Charlemont Bridge artwork before the bridge was destroyed in the hurriciance of 1938 and Marlboro Church, part of a "church series" Woodward was commissioned for by industrialist Francis P. Garvin before his death.



Recent Website Updates

02-02-2020 NEW DRAWINGS

Schermerhorn Letter Doodles

In a letter to friend Helen Ives Schermerhorn sometime between 1910 and '16 RSW offers Helen a number of ideas for her own 'book plate.' The letter is both touching and revealing, in that, Woodward shares his impression of Helen. He also includes his own thoughts on what his plate would ideally be. A bookplate is a popular trend of the time. It is nothing more than a vanity card/label to be attached to the inside cover of one's very own book collection.


02-02-2020 NEW DRAWING

Ink drawing: Forgotten House

This never before seen ink drawing appears to be of a similar house he made in an ink wash painting from his junior year of high school in 1903, Unnamed: Forgotten House. The drawing's date is unknown and was found with a series of prints in a cabinet of his Southwick Studio. There are, however, two possible links to his friend Helen... (1) is a five triangle motif only on items meant for Helen and (2) a wind swept tree similar to a dooble made for her.


02-02-2020 NEW PIC

The Mountain Shoulder

We have a image of this much loved painting from above the Hoosac Tunnel area off the Mohawk Trail made the summer of 1932. In addition to adding the new image, we have made new topographic illustrations of the area to show the vantage point from where we believe he painted the piece.


02-02-2020 REVISED

June Hills

We have made new topographic illustrations of the area to show the vantage point from where we believe he painted this painting in 1931. We have linked it together with The Mountain Shoulder showing a top and bottom perspective of the Hoosac Tunnel area.


02-02-2020 NEW ARTWORK

Unnamed: Drama of Vermont

We have also received from its owner an image a of previously unknown oil painting. It is unsigned and unnamed but closely resembles the chalk drawing Vermont Drama. The most significant difference is the sky. It is possible this painting is linked to others painted in the area of Whitingham, VT in 1932. We have made graphics illustrating the locations we believe he made each painting.


02-02-2020 REVISED

Vermont Drama

In light of the recent discovery of Unnamed: Drama of Vermont we have made graphics illustrating the locations we believe he made each painting painted in the area of Whitingham, VT in 1932. We cannot say for certain if this chalk was made before the oil or if either were made in 1932 but we can say it is most likely both were made around the same time period.


02-02-2020 ADDENDUM

To Tell Mother I Love Her

Given a number of new items concerning a five triangle motif Woodward used almost exclusively in his corespondence with his friend Helen... we have re-thought the origin of this homemade card and made an addendum revision to the page. Find out who we think the card was made for...


February 2020

The tireless work on the new Sketchbook Gallery continues. We are getting close to finishing and still committed a slow roll out of the "never before seen" drawings and sketches. We continue with the last 5 "drawings" and continuing to the first 17 new sketches. If the difference is not obvious, let us qualify it for you. Drawings are near complete and detailed sketches that could, on their own, qualify as art. "Sketches" are simply what it means a generalized composition missing certain detail.


NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN

Drawings

Peltier Farm; Chalk

Rolling Pastures

Shaded Farm

Simple Hills

Strength of New England

Sketches

Back of the House

Below the Orchard

Big Chimney #2

Big Chimney #3

Blue Hills

The Book Corner

SKETCHBOOK MATERIAL

Sketches continued...

Bookcase and Table

Boston Window

Clouds Over Hills

Distant Hills

Dooryard Elm #5

Down a Hill Road

Edge of a Pasture

Farmhouse Road

Guarded House

Home Road

Modest Hill

Nestled Farm

10-21-2019 NEW NAME

Red Barns

Painted in the summer of 1932, this painting was never sold by RSW. It hung in his home throughout his life only to be sold upon the settling of his estate. Its name has always been unknown until now. There are 3 entries in his '32 diary in which he calls it, "Red Barns," with captital letters. It has been removed from the Unnamed Gallery. Visit and see the diary entries...


10-23-2019 NEW INFO

Mountains in Summer &
Mount Haystack Over Sadawga

These two works of art were made in the summer of 1932. Both are from Whitingham, VT near Mount Haystack and along Sadawga Lake. The lake and a patch of cleared trees on the side of a hill appear in both but from very different vantage points. One from Kentfield Road, the other near the old common. We added a graphic to illustrate.


10-26-2019 NEW INFO

Mountain Shoulder

While Woodward was making as many as 15 trips to Whitingham, VT in the summer of 1932, he managed to squeeze in a day to head to Rowe, MA to paint what we believe is Mountain Shoulder near the Hoosac Tunnel. We suspect it was the late start to his day that changed his plans to paint closer to home instead of Vermont.


10-10-2019 LETTER ADDED

November Paths

We have added a new image of a letter written by RSW to this painting's buyer along with its transcription. In the letter, RSW, gives telling insight to his perspective regarding the value of intimacy and close contact with a subject. It is a prevailing theme in his work for which critics often noted in their reviews.


10-10-2019 LETTER ADDED

Mild Winter

We have added a new image of a letter written by RSW to this painting's buyer along with its transcription. In the letter, RSW is responding to what we believe is a question the owner has asked regarding why there are no notable peaks in the distant hills. RSW descibes the vantage point from his Heath studio as facing southeast towards the Buckland Hills, confirming our suspicions.


09-09-2019 NEW ARTWORK

To A Friend; Illumination

This hand-drawn illumination made during Woodward's commercial artist years (1911 - 1917) was discovered by Janet Gerry who has an uncanny ability to locate RSW's work while doing something unrelated. The verse is borrowed from Robert Louis Stevenson's book of poetry, Underwood, Chapter XI, "To Will. H. Low.


09-13-2019 NEW PICS

August Shade, Sepia

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-09-2019 NEW PICS

Dooryard Elm, Sepia

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-14-2019 NEW PICS

Hill and Valley

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-14-2019 NEW PICS

March Snow

The only image we have of this painting is an old grainy photograph. However, that photograph was scanned for the website nearly 15 years ago and we made every effort to re-cpature the photo in a high resolution and better contrast and depth.


09-14-2019 NEW PICS

Shaded Road

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-19-2019 NEW PICS

Silent Evening, Sepia

We now have a new image of this painting which was added 6 months ago but the sepia image we had has always had a glare in the lower portions of the print. We re-captured it in hopes of providing a clearer respresentation of the sepia. There is still a glare of sorts because there is a sheen on the image but the new scan is better.


09-19-2019 NEW PICS

Summer Landscape

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-24-2019 NEW PICS

October Flame, Sepia

We have a lovely color picture of this vibrant painting. Over the past couple of years we have been adding the sepia prints to the artwork pages and with that have now added this paintings sepia to its page.


NEW SKETCH DRAWINGS

As we work to build the new Sketchbook Gallery we have been releasing new, never before seen sketches featured in the gallery. Here are some more...


Peltier Farm, Chalk

Rolling Pastures

Shaded Farm

Simple Hills

Strength of New England

09-26-2019 NEW PICS

North Mowing

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


09-28-2019 NEW PICS

The Window; A Still Life and Winter Scene

We have two images of this painting, (1) is its sepia which has always been used and the other (2) is from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. It is a simple, but crystal clear black and white photograph. We have decided the because of its clarity we would use the photo with credit given to the Boston MFA.


09-30-2019 NEW PICS

Woodland Mystery

It was time to update a number of the sepia prints in the estate. Many of the images we had were scanned nearly 15 years ago so we set out to re-capture them in a higher, most crisp resolution. This painting is one of a number of new scans. Enjoy!


10-02-2019 NEW INFO

New England Heritage

In transcribing Woodward's 1932 personal diary we have learned that he was incorrect about the buyer of this painting in his painting diary. This information is supported by another source and so we have updated the info regarding its buyer... The surprise is it was bought by RSW's bookplate client Francis Meredyth Whitehouse! Read more...


NEW SKETCHES

As we work to build the new Sketchbook Gallery we have been releasing new, never before seen sketches featured in the gallery. Here are some more...


Back of the House

Below the Orchard

Big Chimney #2

Big Chimney #3

Blue Hills

09-01-2019 NEW PAINTING

Summer in Manchester

This chalk drawing was brought to our attention by its current owner. Though we will work on getting a better picture please enjoy this new addition to the catalogue.

This 1937 painting has a perspective of Mount Equinox never before seen in RSW's work.


09-01-2019 NEW PICS

Country Sitting Room

Fitting with our effort to provide the best images of avaliable. We recently re-shot new pictures of this early Woodward paintings of the interior of the Keach home using a new technique to reduce the glare from the high gloss RSW used early in his career.


09-01-2019 NEW PICS

Passing New England

Another new image from the estate's sepia collection (the previous was A Hill Road below). This painting is one of several "Editorial" paintings RSW painted between 1929 and 1933, at the rise of the American Art Scene Moverment. The painting was widely exhibited culminating in it being invited to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1936 by its director Robert Harshe.


SEPTEMBER 2019

As we work to launch the new Sketchbook Gallery we realized that it would be a good idea to start rolling out the individual pages of the new ones for you to enjoy. We start with the sketches we qualify as "drawings." This is to say they had to meet a criteria of completeness without evidence of hast or brevity. This includes shading and skies with clouds. See the next column for links...


NEW SKETCH DRAWINGS

Barn Along the Orchard

Camel's Hump

Clouds Over Equinox

Deerfield Church

Diginity of Age

Distant Drama

Down a Shaded Road

Endless New England

Haying Time

Low in the Valley

Majestic Farm

09-01-2019 NEW PICS

New Hay

Some of RSW's early paintings were painted in a style of impasti so heavy on the brush it has ridges that pick up the slightest light from any direction, New Hay has been our greatest challange because of the dark browns and blacks used to paint the inside if the Keach barn. The glare from this painting is so distracting it makes it difficult to fully appreciate its vibrancy. To date this is our best effort yet...


08-10-2019 NEW PICS

A Hill Road

Not only did we just recently correct some information on this page but we have also come across prints the allow us to offer the viewer a better look at this painting.


07-31-2019 NEW PICS

High in Plainfield

We recently heard from the owner of this wonderful 1927 chalk drawing. It was featured in the October issue of McCall's magazine accompanying an essay written by Corinne Roosevelt Aslop, cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt. We always wondered how this came to be but now seeing how it was drawn suspect that RSW drew it specifically for print.


07-31-2019 RENAMED

Into the Woods

For some time now, we of extended an offer to the owners of unnamed Woodward's. In Woodward's time he permitted buyers of his work direct from his studio to name the paintings they were purchasing if not already named. In that tradition we offered owners of unnamed paintings to select a name so that they may join the regular alphabetical galleries. This is the first painting to take advantage.


07-31-2019 UPDATED

My Grandmother's Lamp

In the constant pursuit of digitalizing the archive of Woodward's papers and documents, we have also been updating the images on the website in new high-resolution pictures. Regarding this particular painting, RSW commented in his personal diary in 1932 as he was painting it. We have updated those images and transcribe them for your convenience, enjoy!


05-31-2019 NEW PICS

Mild Winter

New color pictures of this wonderfully bright and vibrant Heath pasture and Beech Tree scene.


05-30-2019 NEW PICS

Silent Evening

New, clear and crisp pictures of the early 1920s painting. The picture shows a better look of the pink reflection on the snow in what is probably a setting sun.


05-29-2019 NEW PICS

Charlemont Bridge
Long Bridge
Through Summer Hills
Through Summer Hills, Chalk

Another photograph that appears similar to paintings of the same subject. This one in particular is early 1930s, years before the hurricane of 1938 which wiped out the Charlemont Bridge featured. All but one of these paintings were painted after the '38 storm.


05-22-2019 NEW PAINTING
NEW PICS

Unnamed: South Window

Found in a series of color slides left in Woodward's personal items is this previously unknown south window painting. The slide had some damage but it is clearly different from the only other known south window painting June Sun. From the same slides we included to photos of the south south window arrangements, in color, as it was in the 1940s.


05-21-2019 NEW PICS


Unnamed: North Window in Winter

We have always had a black and white image of this painting. What we didn't know is that the black and white prints were actually color pictures printed black and white. The color images were made into slides recently discovered in RSW's personal items. As an extra treat we added a color pic of a studio dinner table setting and arrangement.


05-13-2019 PIC ADDED


Slanting Silo, Oil

Among the recently discovered color slides was a photograph of this barn appearing much the way it does in RSW's 1947 painting but from a different vantage point. The color pictures are from the early 1940s and we bleieve it was 1942 to be more precise.


05-05-2019 NEW PIC


New England Autumn

When revising and adding new pictures to Bennington Church page (see below: 2 rows down) we were reintroduced to the 1940 Yankee Magazine feature on Woodward. In that article was a picture of this painting. We already had a sepia image of this painting but it a bit blurred. We added the magazine pic for its better focus.


05-05-2019 NEW PIC


Invitation
Open Doors

Among the recently discovered color slides was a photograph of Woodward's Heath Studio garage from almost the exact perspective found in these paintings! Another excellant example for our exploration into what role photographs had in Woodward's work.


05-03-2019 NEW PICS

The Hills

For the first time ever, we are sharing more intimate pictures of Woodward left in his personal items after his passing. HERE we share 3, never before seen photographs of RSW painting "The Hills" from his beloved Heath pasture, under the Beech tree, near the edge of the ledge.


05-02-2019 NEW PICS

Peace of Years

Another never before seen photograph of Woodward in his '36 Packard painting this artwork. You cannot see RSW very well. The picture was taken from a distance but reading his diary comments adds a great deal of importance. This picture was taken, probably by Dr. Mark, the day before he was to leave for the Air Force in 1944.


updates continued...