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

Current Announcements

100th ANNIVERSARY of the
7thAnnual Bradley
Polytechnic Instutution
Art Exhibition

Out of the Mist
Thirteen years after leaving Bradley and just one month after winning the Hallgarten Prize, RSW returns to Peoria in 'spirit' by contributing 7 of his paintings at his alma mater. We have several pages that touch on the exhbition. The only piece of work we have a picture of, Out of the Mist (seen above) has a number of details. There is also an EXHIBITION PAGE you are welcome to visit, as well as, a featured article published in the Peoria Star on April 27, 1919, the closing day of the show.

LAST MONTH...
100th ANNIVERSARY
Hallgarten Prize

Woodward in 1922
While there is no event planned. We would be remiss to let this pass without any acknowledgement. March was the 100th anniversary of Woodward's First Prize honor of the Hallgarten Award for best artist under the age of 35 years old presented at the National Academy of Design's annual exhbition. He won the award in just his second year participating. His submission, Between Setting Sun and Rising Moon,

NATIONAL RECOGNITION!

The "Southwick" house and studio of Robert Strong Woodward (1934 - 1957) was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 2018.

Monthly Featured Artwork from our 2019 Calendar: April Sugaring

April Sugaring, a painting by Robert Strong Woodward. The April view as depicted on the 2019 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 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, first, is the Theme Gallery, sorted into 25 categories. The second is alphabetically, 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

03-15-2019 PICS ADDED

Busy Sugaring
Four Maple Trees in March Four Maple Trees in March (Sketch)

The website has been busy digitalizing ALL the pictures in the estate scrapbooks. In that process we came across this old pic of the Griswold maple trees and sugar house seen in these works of art. The picture has been added to the pages.


03-14-2019 NEW PIC

Silent River

Digitalizing all the pictures in the estate's scrapbooks we discovered a picture of this painting better than the one we had and have now updated the page.


03-11-2019 NEW PIC

The Three Chimneys

Digitalizing all the pictures in the estate's scrapbooks we discovered a picture of this painting better than the one we had and have now updated the page.


03-09-2019 PICS ADDED

Unnamed: High in Leyden

The website has been busy digitalizing ALL the pictures in the estate scrapbooks. In that process we came across this old pic of Woodward in his Packard painting en plein aire this very piece. These pictures are some of the best samples we have of him working from the touring car. Also, he just so happen to note the pictures as , "Beecher's Pasture (Leyden)" and so we have changed the name of this Unnamed painting to reflect its location.


03-08-2019 NEW PIC

October Farm

Digitalizing all the pictures in the estate's scrapbooks we discovered a picture of this painting better than the one we had and have now updated the page. This image has been difficult to get a true representation of its appearance because all we have is the magazine cover on which it appeared and the colors used in print (particularly the yellow) is a bit over saturated, as well as, faded by time. We will continue to work to get it as close as we can.


03-06-2019 NEW PIC

Winter Song

Digitalizing all the pictures in the estate's scrapbooks we discovered a picture of this painting better than the one we had and have now updated the page. This image stamped, "Oct 88", has been re-scanned and is better than the previous one. Unfortunately, the image is still not as high a quality as we would like.


03-03-2019 NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Strength of Years

This painting once appeared on the original website and in the process of updating and redesigning the website... got lost in the shuffle. It is the ONLY painting we have come across in the 11 years of the new design to have been misplaced. Leaving no piece of work behind, it has now been added to the Unnamed Gallery where it belongs.


April - May 2019 COMING SOON

NEW SKETCHBOOK GALLERY
It has been a tedious task but we are nearly finished with the NEW Sketchbook Gallery which will more than double the size of the gallery with over 70+ newly digitalized sketches! In what is our most ambitious effort yet, we have compiled every drawing we could locate and have now organized them into 4 catagories, (1) Drawings, (2) Sketches, (3) Ink and Print and (4) Designs & Plans - including all of the various ideas he toyed with for both the Southwick home & studio, as well as, the Heath Pasture Studio.


NEW ESSAY ON RSW's OLDER BROTHER 'ORY'
Long over due, we are putting together everything we can on Orion Jr., including never before seen pictures of Ory and RSW. Woodward never made a reference to his brother in anything we could find. Not surprising, for it was his practice to not dwell on the tragic or the past. Still, it is worth examining what Ory's sudden and tragic death in February 1896 would have meant to RSW and its impact on his life...


NEW PAGES ON NORMAN KRASNA, RSW IN CALIFORNIA & MUCH MORE!


02-25-2019 NEW PAGE

Helen Ives Schermerhorn

Helen is a friend made from his childhood and became a life long pen pal. If not for Helen's foresight to save her letters from RSW we would know next to nothing about RSW's personal views and interest. We would know so little about his recovery from his accident... A page dedicated to her has been LONG over due! She is in her own right an amazing and accomplished person, please enjoy our story...


02-24-2019 NEW DISCOVERY

Night Verses to the Little Shops

This new illumination was recently discovered in papers related to Helen Ives and later given to RSW's cousin Florence by her sister-in-law Anna after Helen's death.

Made for print, we believe while RSW was making his way as an illustrator, this piece is one which he also wrote the verse! RSW does not mention the publication this piece was published, nor the date.


02-20-2019 NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Winter Solace

This signed painting by RSW came up for auction online January 28, 2019 and sold for $600.

An interesting piece, we believe, this painting was made very early in his career, and most likely in his childhood. If this is the case, it is the earliest example we have of RSW spelling out his entire name to sign a painting. There is SO much about this piece that raises a multitude of questions and speculation...


02-08-2019 NEW PAGE

Victor J. West

Victor is one of the friends who was most likely with RSW the day of his tragic gun accident. Fast friends through their mutual love of literature and philosophy during their brief year together at Bradley. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Victor was in Los Angeles working for RSW's father as a secretary for the Briggs Realty Company. Victor went on to become the first head of the newly formed Political Science department at Stanford University.


02-02-2019 NEW ESSAYS

Boston Paintings &
Boston Romance

After revising the Boston Theme Gallery to reflect our most recent research we also sought to amend the scrapbook story regarding the Boston trip RSW made in 1930. A critical examination of the Boston paintings raised a number of questions as to exactly what was RSW's complicated relationship with Boston itself. We attempt to draw out the relationship's value as well as its flaws. Both essays reflect our effort to put RSW's career and legacy into context.


11-17-2018REVISED

Boston Romance: The Oyster House and In Old Boston, Oil

For the longest time there was a great deal of confusion regarding how many "Oyster House" paintings there are. We believe we have finally straigthened out the problem after comparing our exhibition list to RSW's dairy comments and newspaper articles we have sorted much of it out and an impending Scapbook page is coming... (continued in the next entry)


11-16-2018REVISED

The Boston Theme Gallery

... The Boston theme gallery now reflects what we believe are the actually paintings painted from his stay in 1930 for the celebration of Boston's 300th birthday. Given the revisions to Boston Romance: The Oyster House and In Old Boston, Oil, we have also revised the original chalk drawing RSW made. He never names the drawing in his diary but we have settled on The Oyster House, Chalk for the time being.


11-15-2018NEW CHALK

Gray Heights

You learn something new everyday... We have always wondered why RSW would vary his spelling of the word grey/gray. For a time we thought his use of "gray" was a reference to color and that "grey" was more a mood. Well the discovery of this chalk drawing might change that theory or at the least put a kink in it.


11-13-2018NEW PICS

Grey Heights

Auctioned by the Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Thomaston, ME, on November 11, 2018. We learned that not only did we have the name wrong but the name we had this painting listed under is believed to be a previously unknown chalk drawing with a slightly varied name, Gray Heights!


11-11-2018EVENT

Auction Page

On November 11, 2018, the painting Grey Heights was auctioned by the Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Thomaston, ME, and sold for a hammer price of $8,500. Visit our Auction Page for more...


10-15-2018NEW CHALK

High Heath

This previously unknonw chalk was brought to our attention by its current owner. It is of a solitary farm from a distant field with a backdrop of rolling hills and a big sky above. A closer look, which we provide, shows a woman leading a couple horse while laundry hangs to dry on the clothes line. A truly unique piece!


10-13-2018NEW INFO

Francis Meredyth & Mary Armour Whitehouse
Bookplate

This is embarassing to admit but for the longest time we took this bookplate to be for a Mr. Meredyth and a Mrs. Whitehouse when in reality this is the bookplate for prominant Chicago architect Francis Meredyth Whitehouse and his wife Mary Armour. The bookplate was for their Manchester by the Sea (MA) estate Crowhurst. We include new information and pictures!


10-13-2018NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Gathering Time

This wonderful unsigned and unnamed 36 x 42 painting, we believe, depicts a farmer leading his oxen pulling a buckboard carraige to collect sap late in the season, sometime around early spring. From its brush style, we believe it was painted sometime after 1935. It features a wide spreading maple, on a knoll, with 3 red buckets attached.


10-13-2018NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Clouds Over Blooms

In what appears to be painted in his early impressionistic impasto style, this piece illustrates an almost playful mirroring of clouds above with an orchard of apple trees in bloom below. It is interesting to consider if this really occurred and it inspired RSW to capture it or did he take some dramatic license and intentionally painted the clouds in a matching pattern?


10-11-2018NEW INFO

Eugenia Beetle Herring
Bookplate

For a number of years now we have been trying to gather any information we can regarding the identity of Mrs. Herring. We have learned that more often than not, woman from prominant families often assumed their husband's name but kept thier own sans today's custom of using a hyphen. Eugenia Beetle is of the whaling industry's New Bedford Beetles. Visit the page for more...!


10-11-2018NEW PICS

In the November Sun

In a rarity for chalk drawings we have had a high quality black and white picture of this piece for many years. Now we finally have a color picture sent to us by its current owner. It is of the unfinished silo, with the make-shift scaffolding that looks to be fragile at best, RSW painted several times from varying angles.


10-10-2018NEW PICS

Golden Slope

After many years in California having once been owned by close friend, actress Beluah Bondi and her estate, this beautiful autumn painting has come home to New England! Recently cleaned and restored at the Williamstown (MA) Art Conservation Center and on exhibit until Oct. 31st at the PVMA... we may have the pictures but they do not compare to seeing it in person. GO SEE IT!


10-10-2018NEW PICS

Winter Design

Also recently cleaned and restored is this early composite painting of Clark Brook frozen in winter heading towards the Deerfiled River. Besides it being a rare composite painting, it also shows the subtle feature of a setting moon in the west. Also on exhibit until Oct. 31st at the PVMA... we may have the pictures but they do not compare to seeing it in person. GO SEE IT!


10-09-2018ADDED

Early Moonlight,1943

Added to the complete works list is this previously unknonw painting cited by Mrs. Helen Patch in her letters to the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group in June of 1970. We do not know if she got the name correct because there is already a 1921 painting by the same name but we will keep it in the catalogue until we learn otherwise.


10-08-2018UPDATED

Unnamed: New England Landscape

Previously unknown to us this painting comes to us from its current owner. It is one of those quintessential New England scenes that fits into multiple catagories... roadside, tree, autumn, rock walls and ledge, a fence, a wood pile, with just a glimpse into a distant field and hills beyond. A classic New England landscape, thus the name ascribed to it by us.


09-27-2018NEW INFO

While revising the image for Down an August Road it was determined that this painting could not have been the painting later cut down and renamed Early Autumn. THEY ARE DIFFERENT SEASONS! Upon further review, examining diary comments and exhbition records we not only determined that the "cut-down" painting is In Early Autumn but that there were two previously unknown chalk drawings:
Early Autumn, Chalk and
The Road Home
related to The Home Road


09-27-2018NEW PICS & INFO

Unnamed: Across the Valley

This painting came up for auction and sold this July. We first learned of this painting 20 years ago when it went up for auction in New Hampshire but have never seen it in person until now. The only painting in RSW's catalog of its size, at nearly hundred years old it is in excellent condition!


09-26-2018ARTICLE

Robert Strong Woodward: "Painter of New England's Hills and Farms" by Ernest W. Watson

This wonderful tribute to RSW holds many interesting facts and tidbits, however, what is most impressive are the 6 paintings featured. Five of the paintings are the ONLY good quality images we have! What's more is to this day we do not know their whereabouts. It is remarkable for one article to contain so much value.


09-26-2018NEW PICS

From the article in October, 1946, American Artist Magazine we captured 5 new images of the paintings featured.Tthe paintings are the ONLY good quality images we have! What's more is to this day we do not know their whereabouts...

Down an August Road
When Sap Runs
Geraniums and Glass
Grace of Years
A Summer Valley

Finally, there is also a fully transcribed page dedicated to the article
CLICK HERE


09-20-2018NEW PAGE

Unfinished: Stetson Farm

In an oversight, we missed the inclusion of this wonderful unfinished chalk drawing found with 11 others in an old shipping crate in an attic. This drawing, mostly in preliminary sketch form, lays out the entire West Hawley (MA) farm including the barn featured in both:

Farmland Ledge
The Sliver Barn

We have also added a graphic to these pages illustrating the area.


09-18-2018ARTICLE

House & Garden, June, 1937

Our full scan of this article features the interior design of famous couple George Burns & Gracie Allen's home after close RSW friend Harold Grieve completed the work. Also featured in the article, hanging over the fireplace is RSW's Dooryard Elm which was purchased by the couple.


08-25-2018NEW INFO

Bernard H. Hyman,
Virginia Dwyer-Gorman
and the painting
Contentment

Reason #2 why we do this... A man watches a movie on TMC, notices the producer's name and believes he knows relatives of said producer, goes to Google to look the producer up, and FINDS us! He writes us to tell us what he knows and may have solved a missing link regarding the provenance of a painting. It makes it ALL worthwhile!


08-25-2018NEW ARTWORK

Westlake Park, Los Angeles

Located for sale on eBay, this unsigned painting is attributed to RSW. Attached to the back in RSW's handwriting is the location, Westlake Park and date, 1910. Read our research into the park and the possibility this was painted the year he left LA for Boston...


08-23-2018NEW ARTWORK

Unnamed: A Farm in Winter

This previously unknown, signed and dated painting came to us by its current owner contacting us. It is one of RSW's earliest paintings as a professional, and he signed it "R Woodward 1918." We couldn't be more pleased to welcome it home!


08-21-2018RECOLLECTION

The Helen Patch Letters

In one of our MORE remarkable discoveries, we recently have learned of RSW friend Helen Patch who when asked by the Deerfield Academy's 1969-70 American Studies Group to offer any recollections of Woodward. She related some gems as well as provided insightful assessments of the artist.


08-20-2018RECOLLECTION

S. Morton Vose Letter

Asked by the Deerfield Academy's 1969-70 American Studies Group to offer any recollections of Woodward. Mr. Vose, RSW's Boston art broker gave two wonderful stories he heard from RSW. One is hysterically funny and classic RSW, the other shows how private the artist was as well...


08-18-2018NEW PICS

Geraniums and Glass

A black-and-white of the original sepia taken by Ashworth was found at the Buckland Historical Society and far better than anything the website had, and so we made a copy to add to the website.


08-15-2018NEW PICS

In the Spring

On a visit by good friend F. Earl Williams in 1945, Williams brought along with him Kodachrome color film, which at the time was less than a decade old and took color pictures of his visit. Included in those pictures is a picture of this painting along side the subject of the painting, the east window.


08-14-2018NEW INFO

New England Essence

New information found on this painting's buyer, Dr. Amey Chappell a prominent physician, and recipient of the 1967 Elizabeth Blackwell Medal given by the American Medical Women's Association, its highest honor, qualifies her as though not "famous, famous" famous enough for us to recognize her!


08-11-2018NEW INFO

From a Summer Yard

It started as a simple email inquiry from the historical society and led to the discovery of the location of where this chalk drawing was drawn, just off the Four Corners of Buckland where Ashfield, Hawley and Buckland all intersect. See our new graphics illustrating its perspective.


08-08-2018NEW PAGE

American Heritage

Added to the Woodward catalog is this painting named in the "The Helen Patch Letters" by Mrs. Patch. The painting was also loaned to the Deerfield Academy's 1970 Hilson Gallery exhibition honoring RSW but inexplicably was left off their list.


06-18-2018NEW PICS

April Sugaring

After all these years of trying we finally have an original image of this beautiful 'sugaring' painting. Up until now we had previously used scaned images of the painting taken from print material for which it was published.


06-16-2018NEW ARTWORK

Unnamed: Autumn Beech

Wow, what a find! This wonderful painting of the Beech Tree in Heath is unnamed and unsigned. It is of the the tree in baring its fall foliage colors. It is in great condition.


06-15-2018NEW PICS

Aged Roofs

The image of this painting was discovered in a collection of KodaChome slides taken by RSW friend and amatuer photographer, Mr. F. Earl Williams himself and given to the Smithsonian Institute under his name as part of RSW's collection.


06-14-2018NEW PICS

Rushing Brook

We have had a pretty good picture of this painting for some time now but we always look to get the best possible picture of a painting and we succeeded with the lastest pic of this painting.


06-11-2018NEW PICS

Geranium and the Mountain

Window Paintings are always difficult to photograph. Often the brown color of the wood paneling around the windows produces a glare that is hard to avoid, but we magange to in this new pic of this gorgeous painting.


06-10-2018NEW ARTWORK

Unnamed: The Awaiting Maple

The image of this painting was discovered in a collection of KodaChome slides taken by RSW friend and amatuer photographer, Mr. F. Earl Williams. We could not match it to any known paintings and it appears unsigned as well.


06-09-2018NEW PICS

Apples and Silk

This has always been a difficult painting to photograph. RSW's use of light in the silk backdrop often produces an ambient glare when introduced to bright light needed to photograph... but we are getting closer to its natural look with this latest attempt.


06-08-2018NEW PICS

Portrait of a Shadow

FINALLY! We have been hoping to get some color image of this painting, a fav of RSW's, for some time. The image of this painting was discovered in a collection of KodaChome slides taken by RSW friend and amatuer photographer, Mr. F. Earl Williams.


06-07-2018NEW PICS

Evening Moon

It is so difficult to capture how striking some of RSW's work can be. Nothing can substitute seeing it in person and this painting is one of them, but we will keep trying to get the best picture we can until it comes close.


06-07-2018NEW PICS

In Old Boston, Chalk

One of RSW's most unique pieces of work, drawn during his stay in Boston in 1930. Our new pictures of this drawing now includes close up pics of the people on the street and the window planters high above the scene.


05-29-2018NEW ARTWORK

'Cello Song

A truly spectacular work by Woodward. This illumination features a woman playing the cello by an open door and heraldic device containing poetry. Both the artwork and verse done by RSW early in his career as a commercial artist.


05-25-2018NEW ARTWORK

October Parade #1

One of two chalk drawings with the same name, this piece features a stream of autumn red running through a line of trees. It immediately reminds one of a Chinese Parade Dragon of which we believe RSW derived the name.


05-23-2018NEW SKETCH

A Self Portrait

This is an extraordinary find! Woodward was known to have an adversion to doing portraits because he did not feel confident enough to paint them to his satisfaction. To learn that he had done a self-portrait when he was 13 years old simply shocked us.


05-22-2018NEW ARTWORK

Heath Pasture, Early May

A rare upright chalk drawing, this piece features a stunning sky above the Heath Pasture and Beech Tree in May. While May was a frequent subject of RSW's Beech Tree, this drawing is from an unusal perspective, not from the front of his studio but rather to the left of it.


updates continued...