Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted 1938.

Old Deerfield, Mass.

Oil on Canvas


House, Trees

27 x 30

MacBeth Galleries (NYC), 1939
Southern Vermont AA, 1939

Corcoran (DC) Gallery, 1941
    > Award: Third Place pop. vote

MacBeth Galleries (NYC), 1941
Williston Academy, 1941
Northfield Seminary, 1941

Mr. Jacob Merteus, Jr.



Won third place in the popular vote at the 1941 Corcoran Gallery Biennial Exhibition among all paintings shown. First and second prizes went to "portraits" while this is a landscape.

As an aside... we wonder who RSW lent this painting to in 1940. There is no record of it exhibiting for almost a year and 3 months. It was not uncommon for RSW to lend out a painting to a friend or establishment he favored, such as, the Myles Standish Hotel's dining room.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: August Shade

RSW's Diary Comments

August Shade, image of sepia print
August Shade, image of sepia print

"Painted 1938. Painted on side street (near gymnasium) of Old Deerfield when in great pain. House, George Fuller's old studio. Sent to Harold Grieve in Hollywood but on return not satisfied with it so repainted it during the winter of 39-40. Invited to Corcoran Biennial Washington, D.C, 1941, from Macbeth Gallery and winning 3rd place in popular vote among all pictures in the exhibition. Bought in June 1941 by Mr. Jacob Merteus, Jr. of #1 Wall Street, N.Y. City or 13 Campden Road, Scarsdale, NY."

Editor's Note:

In his heart Woodward is a romantic. Yet reviewers and critics often note how he rarely crosses that line in his work. This is the rare example. This painting, and its siblings cited below are an homage to 19th Century portrait artist George Fuller. The little brown house was once his studio. Also note the wardrobe of the young couple walking arm in arm up to the house. Although we cannot say what time period it is exactly, that is not the fashion of the late 1930s or 20th century for that matter.

Additional Notes

August Shade, The House today
The House today. It was once the Deerfield Aca-
demy's bookstore and as of 2023, we hear, it is slated
to be torn down to make room for future development.

Purchased at auction in Old Lyme, Conn. Privately owned.

Painted on Old Albany Road in the south end of Old Deerfield just off the Deerfield Academy campus. This is the road going west along the south side of the Administration Building down toward the old cemetery. The tree is gone, but the building is still there (for now).

Please see also Hitchcock Elm and Out of the Past for similar paintings.

Young couple walking
Young couple walking arm in arm.
Note the wardrobe of the young couple

To the left: is a close up of the young couple walking arm and arm which gets overlooked because the none of the images we have are ideal.

Below left: is a newspaper clipping of unknown origin reporting Woodward's 3rd place prize for most popular painting at the 17th (1941) Biennial Exhibition of the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington D.C., voted on by the visitors of the exhibit. He lost out on second by what looks to be 4 votes. However, please note that 1st and 2nd place prizes went to portraits, popular in its day. This painting is a landscape! In today's spin, we could say he won top prize for landscape. We won't because that would be misleading. Still, it is an important distinction to make.

Below right: is a clipping from Worcester Sunday Telegram, June 15, 1941, reporting on Woodward's "One-Man Show" exhibition held at the Northfield Seminary, May 29 through June 9, 1941. Also mentioned is some of the artwork shown appearing at the Golden Gate Exhibition in San Francisco, CA, the purchase by Bartlett Arkell of New England Impressions (not specifically mentioned) and Corcoran.

Clipping regarding Corcoran Exhibition

Clipping regarding 1941 Corcoran Biennial Ex-
hibition. RSW placed 3rd in the gallery's popular
vote garnering 4.5% of the 1231 attendees. Both
first and second prizes went to portraits.
August Shade, The House today
Uncited clipping. We are unaware of what
painting exhibited at both the New York World's Fair
and Golden Gate Exposition ('39). Both expos ran
simutaniously. Winter Song went to San Francisco
and New England Impression went to New York and
was bought by Arkell for the Canajoharie. As far as we
know, when a painting hung at an expo it stayed
for the duration. The Golden Gate was shuttered
early over growing tensions in the Pacific with Japan.

Bonus Pictures

A close up of the signature
A close up of the signature
A close up of the back of the stretcher
A close up of the back of the stretcher
A close up of the Street lamp and Tree
A close up of the street lamp and the Hitchcock Elm
A close up of the label from the back
A close up of the label from the back

Bonus Material

Photograph of the Elm and House from around the time Woodward painted it.
Photograph of the Elm tree and House
from around the time Woodward painted it.

The house seen in this painting was built in 1783, on a tract of land that in 1686 was designated as Deerfield communial land until 1759 and is affectionately referred to as "The Little Brown House" on Albany Road in Old Deerfield near the Academy. By the 1880's and '90's the house was in terrible condition.

In 1890, George Sheldon a 'Preservationist' and founder of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (1870), one of the first preservation societies in the country wrote and published a book on the home's history and restoration titled The Little Brown House on Albany Road.

The Elm Tree along the house derives its name from the numerous 'Hitchcocks' that lived there throughout its history, the most prominent being Edward Hitchcock who taught at the Deerfield Academy, rising to become its principal (1815-18) and then on to teach at and become the president of Amherst College in 1845. The bookstore at the academy is named after him.

"The Little Brown House" also served as the studio of George Fuller (1822 - 1884), an American figure and portrait painter. As can be seen from the photograph to the right, one of the more impressive features of "The Little Brown House" was its large east facing window which could serve as a great 'artist window.'

The Little Brown House from the front
"The Little Brown House" from the front

For more about Deerfield artist George Fuller you have two options, first there is this link to the, Nation Gallery of Art profile or you can view this link to Wikipedia: George Fuller (painter)

One can read The Little Brown House on Albany Road in its entirety on this link to the Smithsonian Library website.

Woodward painted the house and elm tree two other times, please see Hitchcock Elm and Out of the Past for more