"A painting made from a chalk drawing of the same composition and subject, owned by Mr. Ralph Tognarelli. Tangled group of birch trees filled in right half of the canvas, green mowing beyond, over which bands of pasture land, topped by a nearby mountain (back of Shelburne Tower Mountain) all with a brilliant green blue Sept. sky, (almost no clouds) with the most arresting part of the canvas a foreground bank of fall weeds and asters?very colorful?with just the edge of the road showing in the very lower left corner of the canvas. Sold March 19, 1948, to Mr. Gordon Woodward, 14 Elm St. Hatfield, Mass. Painted in 1945"
The family of original buyer, Gordon Woodward, related the following story their grandfather told them describing his meeting Robert Strong Woodward at the Southwick studio. Gordon Woodward felt that RSW was apprehensive, cold, and alluded to them both having the same surname. Given the period of time (following the Great Depression and start of WWII), one can imagine what RSW was thinking when getting a surprise visit from a stranger with the same last name. It wasn't until Gordon Woodward told RSW that he wanted to buy a painting, that RSW let his guard down. The relatives remember that the painting hung over their grandfather's fireplace in Hatfield.
We recently (October 2015) had the great pleasure seeing this piece in person and having the chance to photograph it. We are very grateful to the current owner for their efforts and time.
RSW had made a previous chalk drawing of this scene titled, September Pastoral.
Please see a "sister painting" made of the same scene about a month later in the year titled...
When Autumn Comes
Although neither piece of artwork clearly shows it, Massemet Mountain's peak has a fire observation tower and overlook.
From it's top you can see all of Shelburne, as well as, the main street area known as Shelburne Falls.
For more on the tower, see our Scrapbook story on Nelson "Spence" Woodward, who manned the tower for 26 years and RSW's uncle.