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Diary Comments regarding Through Summer Hills:

“Painted prior to 1939. The covered bridge at Charlemont, Mass. Painted in the Buckland studio from older 25 x 30 made several years previously and the 25 x 30 destroyed. Also made a chalk drawing of the same subject which is owned by Rev. and Mrs. Matthews of Pelham Manor, N. Y. (see Through Summer Hills (Chalk)."

Sometime in the mid-1920's RSW made his first oil painting (a 25 x 30) of this view of the old covered bridge across the Deerfield River in Charlemont, Mass. I can remember the painting in the early days of my working for him. It was stored out in the frame room with countless other unfinished paintings as well as those with a purple "D" painted on the backs. (Please see that essay.) This canvas was never satisfactory to him, so in about 1939 he repainted a 24 x 36 of it from the original. I even stretched the canvas onto the frame for this one. It was an unusual size for him to use in those days. The flood and hurricane of 1938 had taken out the bridge by this time.

After making the new copy, the original painting was cut into strips and burned in the studio fireplace by RSW personally, as was his want to do. Before the second painting was offered for sale to the public he also made a chalk drawing copy, and noted this in his diary. This chalk was named Through Summer Hills. The name is written right on the front of the chalk drawing which was donated to The Memorial Hall Museum in

Picture Long Bridge
Picture of the historic Long Bridge
to the oil to actually view the name, which he would have written in pencil on the back of the stretcher frame. However, from old newspaper clippings and exhibition invitations, I have noted that it was called Down Through Summer Hills in one place, The Charlemont Bridge in another, and The Long Bridge in still another. It has occurred to me while doing my research that RSW might even have made a second oil copy and given it one of these names, but I have never been able to prove this. As painting and chalk drawing images continue to be brought to the attention of this website we may eventually know all of the history. The old long covered bridge will, however, with the clippity-clop of horse hoofs on the wooden floor, continue in the memories of those of us old enough to remember it.

Mark Purinton
January 2010

Addendum: December 2015
Littlecote Article, 1929
Article regarding the Littlecote Gallery Exhibition,
Utica, NY, 1929, mentions the original painting.

A painting named "Through Summer Hills" was listed as being shown at three exhibitions in the 1920's:

It is believe that it was this is the 25 x 30 painting that Woodward created the subsequent other paintings and chalk then "destroyed." In his diary comment, Woodward does not give the year this painting was made other than to say, "several years previously." It is conceivable that Woodward greatly under estimated the length of time from when he painted it since he was doing this from memory. According to Mark Purinton's first hand account the painting was, "was stored out in the frame room with countless other unfinished paintings as well as those with a purple "D" painted on the backs. (Please see that essay.)". The question does remain, why did Woodward exhibit a painting that was not satisfactory to him?. In any case, this painting is NOT listed in the Complete Works List because it was destroyed.

The 1920's painting was mentioned in two articles related to the exhibitions it appeared. To the right, is the article connected with the Littlecote Gallery Exhibition and below is a quote believed to be related to the 1928 exhibition at J.H. Miller Galleries.

Springfield Daily Republican, Springfield, MA., Sat. April 28, 1928

“A picturesque bridge-and-stream composition,”