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Bookplates & Cachet



Mr. Harold Grieve



This bookplate was made for his close Harold Grieve. Woodward made the bookplate long after he left his commercial artist career behind.

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Featured Artwork: Grieve: Bookplate

Grieve: Bookplate

RSW's Diary Comments

Note #3 Bookplate Sample
A handwritten note by RSW to his friend Harold
Grieve regarding one of three bookplate samples RSW
made. Grieve chose the one above, the other is below.

Though not technically a diary comment, this handwritten note by RSW to his friend Harold Grieve counts as a first-hand account. It reads as follows:

"This has everything in it Jetta mentioned as tastes or loves - The sea, cats, flowers, trees, and paintings - altho the cat does look like a lizard with the leprosy! Printing is poor, pen work is poor - but is an idea to work on. Didn't put in any special idea of antiques in the accessories but could do so."

The note was written to describe one of three sample bookplates [see below] made by RSW for Grieve. The bookplate seen above was Grieve's final choice. Note that the final bookplate did contain a cat, flowers by a window framed by a tree looking over the shorline of a sea. Jetta is former actress Jetta Goudel, Grieve's wife.

Additional Notes

Other bookplate sample for Grieve
The other bookplate sample made for Grieve

At least three bookplates were apparently made for Harold Walter Grieve, a well known interior decorator in Hollywood, California, and a close friend of Robert Strong Woodward. We have found no record of the first one. The second one is pictured to the left and came with the note above in the diary comments. The final product, the bookplate featured at the top, was located in the Southwick Studio. It is interesting to note that three of RSW's bookplates featuring his earliest "window painting" style all went to "friends" or an aquaintance: there is Grieve, Helen Ives Schermerhorn, and Francis Meredyth Whitehouse who we believe RSW knows through his benefactor Mary "Minnie" Eliot of Boston and Pride's Crossing, MA. It is also important to note that this bookplate was designed long after RSW left his commercial art career behind, so this was a favor to a friend...

RSW's initials
RSW's initials in lower right corner

We know this because Grieve did not meet and marry Jetta until the late 1930's.

To the right is a closer look at the sample bookplate which has Woodward's initials "RSW" in the lower right hand corner.

Bonus Material

RSW and Harold Grieve on the balcony outside the Southwick Studio
RSW and Harold Grieve on the
balcony outside the Southwick Studio

Woodward and Grieve first met in Los Angeles, CA. We believe it was prior to RSW's 1906 gun accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Grieve's father, Alexander, was the local butcher in the neighborhood which the Woodwards were living at the time. RSW's parents arrived a year before RSW and so we beleve the Grieves and Woodwards had already struck up a friendship.

What is really unusual is that young Woodward and Harold are nearly 16 years apart in age. RSW is 21 when he arrives in LA and Harold is 5 years old and has an older sister, Jessica, 9 years old. Harold and his sister are roughly the same ages as RSW's cousins back in Buckland. We know RSW liked kids. He would tell his friend Helen in his letters to her about playing tag with the kids in his neighborhood while recovery from his accident. The question is, what was it about Harold that the two stayed in touch despite the age gap?