Quick Reference

Time Period:

Heath Pasture, Heath, MA

Chalk Drawing


Beech Tree, Pastures

22 x 29


Miss Mabel Raguse



This is one of three chalk drawings originally owned by Buckland school teacher Miss Mabel Raguse. It could be said that Mabel was Woodward's #1 fan.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: From a May Hill

RSW's Diary Comments

Double Victory Trees
The Double Victory Trees: Photograph by,
H.R. Ashworth, Shelburne Falls, Mass.

Woodward did not record his chalk drawings in his painting diary.

Editor's Note:

The photo to the left shows what we believe is a view on the scene in the chalk above from the opposite direction.

You can see the rocks between the broken trees indicating Woodward placed himself somewhere next to the farthest tree and drew the scene from there.

We do not know exactly where on the Heath property (Burnt Hill) these trees were located. The property as 160 acres. We only know they symbolized an important value strongly held by the artist - that life can and does go on and any life, even one where you may be broken, particularly the tree featured in this chalk. Look how many leaves this tree has despite having its top half missing!

FOR MORE SEE Double Victory

Additional Notes

Miss Mabel Raguse
Buckland school teacher Miss Mabel
Raguse in her apartment in Shelburne Falls,
MA beneath the chalk drawing From a May Hill

Buckland school teacher Miss Mabel Raguse purchased 2 oil paintings and 3 chalk drawings over her life time. This is quite a feat on a teacher's salary. Safe estimates of what it cost her are anywhere from $25,000 to $27,000 in today's dollars. We do not how much her wages were in that time yet it is safe to say what she spent on paintings by Woodward probably totaled around a quarter of a year's salary.

How significant is this? To answer that, we point out that while Woodward had great relationships with other buyers like Mabel, (Lucy Bridgeman for one), but Mabel is the only one Woodward showed his great appreciation to, making for her a sepia print of a painting as a gift. See below

The Surprise
The Surprise, a gift from Woodward to Miss Raguse

The sepia print to the left was discovered in the Buckland Historical Society's collection. On the back of the print was a handwritten note, "'The Surprise' For Miss Mabel Raguse from Robert Strong Woodward"

We is not clear to us is whether this was a painting he made for her or if he had H.R. Ashworth make a print of a painting for her. It is probably the latter since the painting in the sepia is completely unknown to us.

For more about Miss Mabel Raguse and her love of RSW's work CLICK HERE