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Time Period:
Prior to 1918


Oil on Canvas


Trees? / Unknown





One of RSW's earliest works. This painting was one of two of Woodward's first professionally exhibited pieces.

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Featured Artwork: Fall Fires


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RSW's Diary Comments

The Boston Evening Transcript, October 18, 1918:

"Robert S. Woodward's Fall Fires is a very interesting landscape painted in the Berkshire hills."

Boston Transcript, Oct. 18, 1918
Boston Evening Transcript, Oct. 18, 1918

The Boston Herald, October, 1918:

"Fall Fires is a little less striking, but equally pretty subject and motive."

Springfield Republican, April 1922
Boston Herald, October, 1918
Artist Gardner Symons
Artist Gardner Symons

The 1918 exhibition at the Boston Art Club (BAC) is officially Woodward's first submission to a professional art show. It is also a special show put together by artist Charles Hovey Pepper as new Director of the Exhibitions Committee for the club. The show was to feature more modern artist, particularly in the region, and was called the New England Artists' Series. It was immediated resisted by the club's more traditional (European) membership and battled controversy for its entire existence which was no more than eight years.

It would be, however, Woodward's first big break. The next month he would also be accepted to the National Academy of Design's (NAD) annual show for his submission, The Golden Barn. Much of the credit for this most likely has to do with famed impressionist artist Gardner Symons who Woodward sought advice from when he was not certain his work was up to the professional standard he aspired. It is Gardner, impressed with Woodward's work, who encourage him to submit it to the NAD and in all likelihood told Woodward about the BAC show as well.

Evening Stream #1
Evening Stream #1
Of all of RSW's work, this painting and Silent River, most
resemble the style and tone of Gardner Symons. Symons
was well known as generous teacher and mentor to a number
of successful artist, Woodward can be counted among them.

What is most remarkable about Woodward exhibiting at the BAC New England Series is that both this oil painting and the chalk drawing Hill Farm BOTH received praise in the Boston papers! Equally significant is the fact that Woodward's first professional show included a pastel painting (RSW called them chalk drawings). The importance of this is that Woodward did not place as much importance in his chalk drawings. He did not keep a record of them in his painting diary and how many he made is completely unknown to us. This goes without also mentioning that the chalk drawing got the greater attention and praise! RSW would show at least one chalk in each of the following years ('20, '21, '22, and '23) but it was not until 1927 that they were featured more and more at his exhibits culminating up to the 1929 Pynchon Gallery Exhibit featuring ONLY his chalk drawings.