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Ink/Print Drawing: Forgotten House

Sketchbook Forgotten House
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Another ink drawing... High on a Hill

And an ink wash drawing... Repentance

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Additional Notes

This ink drawing is related to a 1903 ink wash drawing, Unnamed: Forgotten House, made by Woodward when he was 18 years old. The problem is... the drawing was found with a series of unrelated prints in a cabinet of his Southwick Studio. Also, the two drawings are by no means exactly the same! In fact, there are a number of discrepancies. (1) the landscape around the house is not the same; (2) the side of the house have the same top windows, but missing are the lower windows; and (3) note, in the ink wash, there is a barn or building of some sort behind the house but the ink sketch has a wind blown tree.

The Aste House
We could also not help noting how
similar RSW's wind blown tree and clouds in the
sketch above resembled the same in his book
plate letter to friend Helen Ives Schermerhorn

However, there is no denying the similarities otherwise. From the chimney placement, to the front door and the two front facing windows and crumbling annexed rear of the home... it appears to be the same place. We understand it is two drastically different time periods and the landscape could certainly be very different. Still, that does not explain the two missing lower windows or how the house, particularly the rear, appears to be in much the same condition some 30 years later. It is a mystery.

It was not as often as we may think that RSW made artwork of crumbling buildings. There are only a handful, like, The Old Yellow House; Dover, Old New England, and New England Essence of the old home Leyden RSW documented over the years. In New England Essence, the rear of the house has finally collasped in the early 1940s.

We make this distinction because it is one thing to portray a building or structure that is withered, sagging and decaying from age and just simply collapsed. It is important to remember Woodward valued potential and the promise of hope. He was about life and a collapsed structure no longer has life or potential.

Just as we were finishing up this page, we caught a glimpse of what looked like the 5 triangle trapeziod symbol Woodward used in a number of his works of art to Helen Ives Schermerhorn putting into question the time period of the ink drawing.

Trapeziod Symbol
A graphic showing the location
of the 5 triangle trapeziod symbol
Trapeziod Symbol close up
A close up of the
5 triangle trapeziod symbol

The symbol is found in only The Love Leaf booklet he made for Helen after his accident in 1907 and the"Bookplate Doodles Letter" sketches between 1911 and 1916. Was this drawn between 1907 and 1916 and he saved it in his sketchbooks over the years? Or did he make the drawing in 1903 time period and later make the ink wash drawing? So many questions! Short of having the paper carbon dated, we probably will never get the answer. We are researching the symbolism of the shapes and we will share our findings at a later time. For more see...