Quick Reference

Time Period:

Technically there is no location. This
painting is a composite of RSW's
own creation from other works

Oil on Canvas

Landscape / Composite

Roads, Houses, Trees

18" x 34"

Mr. & Mrs. Roger Smith home, 1944




This painting would be unknown to us if not for its appearance in our exhibition records. Fortunately, it appears in a series of photographs taken by the artist friend F. Earl Williams of the 199 Smith residence exhibit. Originally mistaken as a chalk drawing we have confirmed that information is incorrect and even produced its size from various measurements and comparison to another painting it hung with at the home, Mountain Meadow.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: The Road Home

The Road Home
The above image is of The Home Road painted in the same year,
1944, and believed to be similar to this chalk drawing.

RSW's Diary Comments

Woodward did not make a diary entry for this painting, however, we believe it was made specific for the Smith event. It is also possible that the exhibit information provided to the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group (who compiled a catalog of Woodward's work in 1970 with the help of Mr. Williams) is incorrect. Perhaps, there is not two paintings of this subject but just one because Mr. Williams or one of the students mixed up the name and swapped "home" and "road" for the exhibit list and then recorded, The Home Road from RSW's diary. We are beginning to believe this is the case.

Diary comments from The Home Road:

"Painted in 1944. Long flat panel canvas made in studio winter of '44 when I was making several of that size and proportion. Designed arbitrarily from different elements I like in different past canvases. Road and Mt. from Down an August Road, old N.E. red farm house and maples from N.E. Autumn etc. Sold by Mr. Williams in the spring of 1944 to Mr. and Mrs. P.H. Murray, 89 Lawrence St., Gardner, Mass."

To the right:

An image of New England Autumn showing the house and maple used to make this painting. You can view any of the following paintings to see the road, mountain and trees used to comprise the left side of the painting: Down an August Road, In Early Autumn, and Early Autumn

Early Autumn laid over In Early Autumn
Early Autumn laid over In Early Autumn
This image illustrates what was cut down from In
Early Autumn
to make Early Autumn. It also ex-
plains why there is no sepia print for Early Autumn.

Editor's note:

We know that Woodward cited Down an August Road as the inspiration for the left side of the composite painting, however, if you look more closely at the painting, In Early Autumn, you get a better perspective. In Early Autumn was a painting that eventually got cut down to become Early Autumn. The reason the artist cut it down was because he received criticism for having two focal points (the road through the tress and the distant farm). Add another third on to In Early Autumn and you have a similar perspective to the painting above. Also, In Early Autumn was not cut down until 1950.

This painting hung at the 1944 Mr. & Mrs. Roger Smith Exhibition. A private exhibition of remarkable painting arranged by F. Earl Williams. As far as we know this was the only exhibition this painting was displayed. Go to the bottom of this page for more...

Additional Notes

Down an August Road
The original painting, Down an August Road
from which the others, including this, was based.

In the same year RSW made this chalk drawing, which exhibited at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Roger Smith, the painting named The Home Road was also painted. Due to this connection and the similarity in name (RSW often flipped words in a painting name and its related chalk), we believe this painting's composition is most likely the same. We do not know the whereabouts of either artwork but do have the black and white image above. Both painting and drawing are considered composite paintings because RSW "Designed arbitrarily from different elements I like in different past canvases." While rare in his career, he did do a number of composite paintings between 1940 and '45.

It is worth noting in regard to this drawing and other composites, the road, mountain and trees used from Down an August Road where also used in a composite RSW painted in 1939, In Early Autumn with an accompanying chalk drawing named, Early Autumn. In Early Autumn was later "cut-down" in 1950 because of an issue with competing focal points and renamed, Early Autumn confusing matters even more. None the less, all paintings but the original, including this one, are all considered composite paintings.


The 1944 Mr. & Mrs. Roger Smith Exhibition:

April Sun and Frost on the Window hanging
The chalk drawing The Road Home, the oil A Winter
and this chalk Mountain Meadowtogether
hanging on the wall of the Smith home. on the wall

To the right: is a photograph of the oil The Road Home, the oil A Winter Afternoon and the oil Mountain Meadow together hanging on the wall for a private exhibition in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Roger Smith of Gardner, MA, December, 1944. The picture was taken by Woodward friend, educator and amateur photographer F. Earl Williams. Williams was once the principal of Gardner High School and so we believe he had something to do with arranging this rare exhibition of Woodward's paintings in a private residence. In all, 14 paintings and were displayed. Williams only photographed 11 of them that we know. The three missing photographs are New England Impressions*, Winter Farms, and From the North Window*. The paintings photographed are as follows in pairs: Portrait of a Shadow and From a Mountain Farm*, April Sun and Frost on the Window, A Winter Song* and The Big Chimney*, The Road Home, the oil A Winter Afternoon and Mountain Meadow together and then Tranquility, and The Little Red Barn* as singles.

And what an exhibition! Worthy of any New York or Boston Gallery, it featured a number of Woodward's most exhibited editorial paintings going back as far as 1935. [noted by asterisk*] Two of the paintings hanging at the exhibit, A Winter Song and New England Impression previously hung at the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco and the 1939 New York World's Fair respectively.