Quick Reference

Time Period:
Unknown

Location:
Conway, MA

Medium:
Oil on Canvas

Type:
Landscape

Category:
Trees

Size:
27 x 30

Exhibited:
RSW's 125th Birthday
Celebration Exhibition, 2010

Purchased:
Unknown

Provenance:
N/A

Noteworthy:

For years this painting was thought to be "October Gold" noted in RSW's diary but is, in fact, unnamed. See more under "Additional Notes."

Related Links

Featured Artwork: An October Gold

RSW's Diary Comments

RSW's Diary Comments regarding October Gold:

"Painted in fall of 1929. A painting made of a giant old maple tree (shaped like an oak) in brilliant foliage on back road from Ashfield to Conway near Pine Hill where Archibald MacLeish lives. Sold to Mrs. Henry P. Everett, the prominent collector of Cleveland, Ohio, and Pasadena, California. At her death, in the late 30's it was willed to the permanent collection of the San Diego Art Museum in San Diego, California."



Additional Notes

1930 Boston Herald, October Gold
When you hover over an image and see this
symbol, you can enlarge the image simply by
clicking on it. To view full version, click link below:
Boston Herald, Rotogravure Section

Right: A clipping of the 'named' October Gold,
Boston Herald, Rotogravure Section,
June 29, 1930

This painting was purchased at a Mystic, CT auction in 2009. Although it did not match the size in our records (35 x 42) of October Gold and did not have a name marked on the back stretcher, it was initially believed to be October Gold because it matched the sepia print and other images from clippings.


This piece is not actually named, however, and because it was mistakenly thought to be October Gold, and was exhibited at RSW's 125th Birthday Celebration Exhibition as October Gold. Since it is obviously the original painting to what was later named October Gold and exhibited as "October Gold" this piece will be now referred to as An October Gold.


The website was not aware of there being two paintings of the same subject until we were contacted by the present owners of the truly named October Gold in 2015. And although the subject matter of both paintings are nearly identical there is a distinct and important differences between the two paintings.


Besides the size difference of the two paintings (27 x 30 and 35 x 42 respectively), they are also different with respect to brush styles. This piece, which will be now be known as An October Gold, is painted in a style popular with Woodward during the early to mid - 1920's and up to about 1928-9 uses a heavier, more abstract texture. Whereas, October Gold, is a more refined, smoother stroke and texture that would be more fitting of the style he would now settle on for the remainder of his career.


Stamp of Mrs. Everett's name
An October Gold- Close up

Labels found on the stretcher
October Gold- Close up

It is for this reason, it is believed by the website staff that what we are calling An October Gold is actually the originally painted piece and that what becomes the named October Gold piece that is purchased by Mrs. Henry Everett was probably made from that painting. There is reportedly, in the exhibition list, also a chalk drawing by the same name, however, we have no other information regarding a chalk drawing.


Stamp of Mrs. Everett's name
An October Gold- Even closer up

Labels found on the stretcher
October Gold- Even closer up

For this reason, we consider this the finest example of Woodward's evolution as an artist because we have no other clear sampling of two similar subjects painted in two distinct styles.


Naming Clarification:

Even though An October Gold is most likely the originally painted piece, for whatever reason, Woodward did not name it nor do we have any record of it being exhibited. We can only assume Woodward had his reasons. Maybe he was unsatisfied with it for some reason. It could very well be that this was the seminal piece that Woodward considered making a style change. We can only speculate. However, it is very clear that from 1930 on, Woodward style remained consistent with that of the namesake piece October Gold. Therefore, our naming this piece An October Gold is purely to keep the two pieces together due to their lineage. Otherwise it would be appropriately placed in the Unnamed Gallery with other Unnamed pieces.