"Painted about 1925. A painting made in my early career of the long west window shelf of my Old Studio (which was burnt). Bought by Mr. John T. Spaulding of 99 Beacon St., Boston, I think from the exhibition I had in the Ball Room of Mrs. Ronald T Lyman's house on Beacon St., Boston, in 1926 altho I am not certain of this place of purchase."
"Now owned by Boston Museum of Fine Arts in famous Spaulding Collection."
Note - The editors now conclude to be a mistake because the Museum of Fine Arts records the painting in their collection as being a 25 x 30 which matches the size of The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene
Painted c 1925. Purchased by John T. Spaulding, given in 1948 to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass and where remains to the present day.
The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene and My Winter Shelf are forever intertwined in part because of their similarities in composition but also RSW mixing the two in his diary comments. What's more is that both paintings were purchased by renown collectors, Mr. Spaulding and Mrs. Everett respectively. However, unlike other "copies" Woodward had done these two have notable differences and they are as follows:
Size - The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene is 25 x 30 inches and My Winter Shelf is 30 x 36.
Buyers - The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene was bought by John Spaudling and gifted to Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA. My Winter Shelf was purchased by Mrs. Henry Everett (see her Scrapbook story).
Content - My Winter Shelf has a man shoveling snow outside the window, the candle and statue of a man and woman sitting. The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene has the glass medallion and the water pitcher. Both painting contain the red lantern shown to the left
"That a really fine artist is usually a yary modest person is proven anew in the exhibition of paintings by Robert Strong Woodward in the Myles Standish
galleries, near Kenmore Station. For it is the kind of exhibition that might have been hung in one of the galleries of the Museum of Fine Art...
[referring to The Window] ...That snow scene outdoors is well-done and the color on that shelf makes a splendid contrast. It must be some picture or John Spaulding wouldn't have purchased it for his collection."
John Spaulding, along with his brother William, were from a prominent Boston family. Although not much is known about either man their legacy as art collectors in the early decades of the twentieth century is without question. It was thanks to them that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, acquired some of its most enduring masterworks: major European paintings by Goya, Cezanne, van Gogh, Matisse and many others; oils, watercolors and drawings by American masters such as Hopper, Kent and Homer; a remarkable archive of World War I propaganda posters; not to mention its world-renowned collection of Japanese prints. To see Spaulding's Collection at the MFA, CLICK HERE
The two images (left and above) both incorrectly cite that famed art collectorJohn Spaulding purchased My Winter Shelf from the 1926, Lyman Exhibition in Boston. This however is incorrect, the website has established that Mr. Spaulding in fact bought The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene.
Below is a side by side comparison with the main differences highlighted in red.