Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted in 1936

Off Jacksonville Stage Rd., facing
west in West Halifax, Vermont

Oil on Canvas


Trees, Houses

27 X 30

Southern Vermont AA, 1936

Mrs. Gracie Allen Burns



This painting was purchased by Gracie Allen Burns of the famous radio and television comedy duo Burns & Allen who promptly wrote " a charming letter " letter to Woodward afterwards.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Dooryard Elm

It is unfortunate but this is the best color image we have of this painting. While better than the previous image we
had, it is still not great. The image is from the early 2000s and the early days of digital cameras before the iPhone.
Click here for a high resolution image of painting

RSW's Diary Comments

Dooryard Elm, Sepia
Dooryard Elm, Sepia Print
To view this high quality image in full Click HERE

"Painted in 1936. At my Halifax (Vt.) House. Taken by Harold Grieve from the studio in 1937 to Hollywood, California, and sold by him to Gracie Allen and George Burns of radio and movie fame for the library of their home at 720 North Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California, which Mr. Grieve had decorated, as one of the most prominent interior decorators of the country."

HOUSE & GARDEN, June , 1937

Harold Grieve, once a Hollywood Set Designer, later turned Interior Designer did the interior design of one of Hollywood's most beloved couples which was then featured in the magazine House & Garden where this painting is seen hanging over the fireplace in the article. To view the article in its entirety click the link below... (Scan will open in a separate tab)

Additional Notes

Newspaper clipping of George Burns and Gracie Allen with the painting
Newspaper clipping of George Burns and
Gracie Allen with the painting...

The following is from a letter written by RSW to Macbeth Galleries concerning this painting.

"...I have another sale to report, made only yesterday, which has an amusing angle! Do you remember my 2 paintings which hung downstairs at the Manchester show this fall - one of them the Vermont Barns which you still have there and the other an elm tree arching over a red house - The Dooryard Elm? I wonder if you did notice the latter? I made it this summer and it has not been out at all except to the Manchester exhibition. Later in the fall with one or two others it was sent out to Hollywood to a close friend, Harold Grieve, an interior decorator, who hoped to try to sell some of my work out there. Well, yesterday, Christmas, I heard "The Dooryard Elm" had been sold, and in the later mail I had a nice letter from the purchaser herself, very enthusiastically written, and stating it was the center decoration in the large new home which had just been built for her - the draperies and rugs and furnishings of the library all being designed and arranged in color about the painting (which is the way a painting should be used) - and whose library do you think my painting "graces?" Gracie Allen! - that silly dumbbell comedienne of the movie and radio team of Gracie Allen and George Burns. She wrote a charming letter anyway. Perhaps it may lead to more sales in the colony. I expect to hear from Mae West next!"

the living room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
Dooryard Elm hangs on the wall in the living
room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
the living room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
North Adams Transcript, Jan. 5, 1937
the living room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
A close up view of Dooryard Elm hanging on the wall