This website is a tribute to the life and artwork of Western Massachusetts artist Robert Strong Woodward (1885 -1957).

Current Announcements

                IS ASSEMBLED!

The 2024 Woodward Calendar has been assembled and is now being prepared for print. Some editorial editing and tweaking will be done but we expect it to be on time. It was a very challenging year. Each year get more challenging. This will be the 17th issue and we have exhausted most of the top quality images without repeat-ing but a handful. We really had just run out of new and orignal ideas. The truth is, as little as three weeks about (today's date: 09-07-23) we had no ideas or theme; that is until fate intervened and inspiration struck. Once we had the concept, it took less than a day to put it together. We hope the you will enjoy it as much as any previous calendar.


As it was with last month's featured artwork, this month's painting, New England con-nects to a project we have been working on for months and trying to publish. The subject is Woodward and the New Eng-land church which he is increasingly becoming assoc-iated. As we introduce in our painting story for The Heart of New England in the update section below, is that it is not the church in the religous sense but rather the village center as the center of community. One should not try to put the artist in too small a box or make him one or two dimensional. He is far more complex than most realize. Nearly every painting of architecture (home, barn, or church) he made, that people find "charming" also holds subtle and insightful social commentary. Some are scath-ing commentaries on neglect, others with just plain apathy, while with a sympathetic eye he paints with dignity, love and respect. He has a lot to say if you will only look a little closer.

The project I speak of is the story of the 1937 Garvan Com-mission. Francis P. Garvan commissioned Woodward to painting a series of historic early American churches and "fine" homes. The commission is the culmination of a series of fateful events that will inadvert-ently forever link Woodward to the New England church. However, the commission is an utter failure and furthermore this contract is it may have been sabotaged intentionally by Woodward... and fate inter-venes again and takes it away from him forever.

It is a powerful story about how uncompromising the artist could be in regard to his brand, as well as how careless he is when he is insincere and how fate and destiny respond when he uses subterfuge to alter the course. We hope to publish before the end of the month... along with the previous month's mention of our story about December Farm.


The issue that halted our work last month has been sorted out. We traced the change we made that had an unintended conseq-uence and work on the various projects we are juggling are ready to move forward. The errant change effected over 130 pages on the website and revealed a couple other issues that were also corrected. We appreciate your patience and continued support. ❤

Brian Charles Miller,
Website Content Director

Monthly Featured Artwork from our 2023 Calendar:  New England

New England
This painting by Robert Strong Woodward, New England is the September view in the 2023 Buckland Historical Society Woodward Calendar.

⮜ READ the story in the left hand column about the auspicious
timing of this painting being our feature of this month.

Website's Key Features

Welcome to! The website is divided into two main features. First is the Gallery of Woodward's artwork sorted in themes and then alphabetically. There is also the Scrapbook which contains collections of stories, memorabilia and specific citations related to Woodward, his life and achievements. It is at once a tribute and historical record of Woodward and the life and times from which he drew his inspiration.

❤❤   THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR 21,500+ VISITS   ❤❤

   From April of 2022 to April of 2023, the website received more than 21,500 unique visits. The most meaningful of these numbers are the eighty-seven percent ( or 18,800+ ), of those visitors who opened us directly from their browser and not through a search engine.
   We do not look at our numbers often because we would be doing this whether we had one visit a year or a million. This pleased us so very much and we are beyond grateful. It is an increase of 89% since the last time we looked - 2017. That is a growth rate of nearly 15% a year and we couldn't be more appreciative to have your attention. No pressure though, we're cool...

Woodward's Second Love...

Not only known for his landscape paintings, Woodward had a pas-sion for the restoration and preservation of aging buildings. In his life as a professional artist, he took an unused old diary shed and converted it to his first studio, Redgate. He then purchased an abandoned farm, the old Hiram Woodward Place, and restored it to a show piece of old New England. He then purchased an old mill (Boehmer's Mill) nearby and returned it to its former glory. After a tragic fire burned Hiram in 1934, he purchased another abandon farm, the Southick Place featuring its early 19th century blacksmith shop into a model of New England tradition that appears today as it did when he lived there... His studios are a reflection of his values.

The Artwork Galleries

The galleries consist of nearly 800 known works of art created by Woodward. We have some form of an image for approximately 75% of them! The galleries are organized in two ways. The first is the Theme Gallery, sorted into 25 categories. The second is alphabetical, making up 8 separate galleries plus a gallery of artwork RSW didn't name or we do not have a name for at this time. Plus, visit our Complete Works List and surf the website from there!

In addition to the artwork, when available, we provide additional notes and background related to the artwork, as well as, links to related paintings or locations for a richer experience and connection to the area.

Our Recollections Scrapbook

The Recollections Scrapbook is a collect-ion of personal ac-counts from people who either knew Wood-ward personally or related to us an experi-ence they have had related to Woodward. A number of the stories told come from this website's originator, Mark Purinton (seen in picture to the left with Woodward), who started working for Woodward as a boy.

Painting Stories Scrapbook

This is our "story behind the paintings" collection. It includes some of Wood-ward's favorite subjects, such as, his neighbor Harrison Keach's Farm, the Halifax (VT) House and the North Window of his Southwick studio. There is also Charlemont Bridge artwork before the bridge was destroyed in the hurriciance of 1938 and Marlboro Church, part of a "church series" Woodward was commissioned for by industrialist Francis P. Garvin before his death.

Recent Website Updates

We are looking to add greater depth of insight that fleshes out more context than we have ever had about Woodward's career as well as his personal values and principles. The stories just begin to tell themselves. And something like that results from processing the information one has available, turning it into empirical (measurable) data. Once it has been compiled, it then needs to be interpreted and analyzed and you start to see patterns and connections that are not always obvious despite being right under your nose for years.

More daunting will be the Scrapbook portion of the website. As of right now, the information under the Redgate Studio, the Hiram Woodward Place, and the Heath Pasture House are all woefully out-of-date. It is a top priority for us to update these pages, especially the Hiram Place, for which there is so much never-before-known information to add.

In addition to the studio pages, we have been assembling as many as 15 new Scrapbook pages and just as many in the cue for a much needed update. We suggest you go to our new Miss Mabel page to see what we mean. There are also important people in Woodward's life we have neglected to give their due. We are now distinguishing some of these individuals as "patrons", "benefactors", and sponsors. One page in particular will reveal just how critical one women was to Woodward having any career at all.

We are nearly done with updating the H Gallery. However, we ran into a couple of problems that have not yet been sorted out. For example, the painting, Hill and Valley may not actually be Hill and Valley! It may have been mislabeled a long time ago. While gathering all the information related to the name we came across conflicting information that suggest it might be something else and it needs to get sorted.


08-27-2023 NEW PASTEL!

Where the Stonewall Joins the Ledge

This chalk drawing comes to us from its own-er with a story that it was a wedding gift, given in 1915. There is no reason to doubt the story. For one thing, Woodward loved personalizing his gifts. For another, al-though oil paintings dom-inate our attention, the pastel paintings were there from the beginning in 1918 and getting more praise.

09-02-2023 NEW PICS

The Lone Tree

A trip to Stockbridge to visit their public library, and have some lunch at the country store of the Rockwell mural of Main St. fetched us a new picture of this painting. It also revealed some other things that clears up some confusion and confirmed other things.

This is the OLDEST (1921-'22) known painting of the Beech Tree on Burnt Hill in Heath, MA... by years. Read the story!


Heart of New England

If it has not become ob-vious yet, it soon will. We are making a concerted effort, in part as tribute to Paul Harvey's, "... and now you know The REST of the Story," feature of his radio program to look at the backstory of certain paintings for greater context.

This painting is at the crux of an issue that plagues Woodward's lasting legacy in misunderstanding concealing his true interest.

06-21-2023 UPDATED

The Three Barns

This was updated a couple of months ago as part of our efforts to bring together and link exhibitions with their articles. This is one of those paintings that because we do not have the greatest of pictures, it gets neglected. If you do not know this, Woodward did not like neglect and so we gave this page some love. We connect it to another, better image we have of the same barns from a different angle along with the praise it got in a newspaper clipping.

07-09-2023 UPDATED

Opalescent April

With no image of this painting, it is one of the overlooked but its name is important, or rather we say opalescence is important to Woodward. But that is another story for another time. What is of import on this page is its role in drawing our attention to Woodward's handling of the situation AFTER his Hiram home and studio fire. On this page is the article where he addresses the rumors and misinformation being published in defense of his reputation.

06-28-2023 CORRECTION

Gray New England

Since the beginning of the website, this painting's name was listed as "Grey NE" due to contradicting inform-ation. The evidence was looking us right in the face but it was from a traditionally inaccurate source. It took us a while to comb through all of the information we have and found enough evidence to change the name and we share the story with you.

06-27-2023 A GOLDEN RULE

The Golden Month  &  The Golden Slope

  We have long suspected that the names of both these paintings are related to the Golden Ratio more than the season of autumn (though still related). But the Golden Ratio (based on the Fibbiaci Sequence showing the natural proportions of distribution found in nature). Proportion is important to composition and you will find the aspect called the Golden Spiral in a large number of beautiful art work. Woodward is no exception to this, only with these two paintings the spiral is notably intentional, thus the name.

  We were inspired to illustrate the spiral found in these paintings when a woman visiting the 2022 Memorial Hall Museum exhibit with her daughter. Standing in front The Golden Slope, took her hand and traced the air in front of the painting revealing the spiral to her child. What surprised us was this same woman, with her daughter in tow, did the same thing with at least five paintings also on display. Today, we have identified as many as 60 others. Expect a Scrapbook page soon!


Grace of Years

Another one of those painting stories that has an odd journey... from being bought by the new owner of the Halifax (VT) House, to being returned to Woodward, it's exhibition record, being part of the October 1946 issue of American Artist, to selling again at the Founder's Show of the Grand Central Art Gallery in New York City.

06-20-2023 SOME CONTEXT

Great Faith in God Alone

We are making an effort to offer some greater context to Woodward's early work. One of those facets is his interest in making Illuminations. It is an art form with a long history and tradition tied to the undercurrect of Woodward's faith and aspirations. It is important not to underestimate how powerful its draw is to him. It is primordial in its origin.

01-19-2023 A NEW STORY

From a May Pasture

This painting's story is almost comically tragic. It is a personal favorite of RSW's. Its buyer dies just days before its comple-tion. It exhibits at a show with another painting of a familiar subject by a fri-end of Woodward's that gets more attention as well as RSW's ire. It is the first incident of RSW's defense of his brand from being co-opted by others.

05-01-2023 AN ESSAY

The Evolution of the Window Picture Painting, Part 1

In the first of what will be 3 parts, we introduce to you the evolution of Woodward's well-known and highly recogizable Window Pictures Paintings. Part I is primarily a build up, revealing the first "window" drawing we know of and how the letter that accompanies it holds many of the traits and values RSW will incorporate into his Window Picture Paintings nearly twenty years later. But that is not all! We will share with you who we believe is their inspiration and how she literally and later figuratively appears in the original paintings perhaps as a tribute to her if only unconsciously so. We will also connect RSW's early commercial work and intimate Redgate paintings as the being precursor to the art form.

06-03-2022 PAGE UPDATE

August Shade

When we heard that the Deerfield Academy was going to level the "little brown house" on Albany Street we took another look at this page and introduce the artist romantic tendencies.

We've added new clippings and some editorial commentary.

10-18-2022 PAGE UPDATE

December Farm

This is an important scene for Woodward only we are not entirely sure why. We suspect it holds an underlying poetic irony, a tragic one. Its story has prompted us to begin an essay exploring its mysteries but for now... enjoy our page update featuring Jeanette Matthews beautiful reviews.

04-14-2023 A NEW STORY

When Drifts Melt Fast

In this story, we call Woodward out on being misleading. He claims "it never sold" but the truth is that he never found the right home for what maybe one of the most celebrated and beloved paintings in his entire oeuvre. Read the story of this award-winning painting and see if you agree...

03-12-2022 NEW DISCOVERY

From My Studio Window

Woodward made a num-ber of small errors in his Painting Diary. He didn't start the diary until the early 1940s and so a lot of it was from memory. In regard to this painting, however, he may have made his most egregious mistake. It was the wrong painting entirely! More surprising is who OWNS this painting.

03-15-2023 CORRECTION

The South Window, 1928

It all adds up... the size matches, where it exhibited matches, and the good fortune of discovering a photograph from the 1928 exhibit where this painting is hung next to a known 40" x 50" painting is all we needed to prove this painting is the one on the cover of Country Life Magazine.

09-17-2022 NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Haying Time in New England

We have received a few newly discovered paint-ings through their owners who graciously send us their pictures. This signed but unnamed painting is an early 1920s oil on canvas. It is very unique in that it shows a slop-ing field being hayed and you can just make out the work horses and cart use to do it.


The Chambered Nautilus

In our greatest indulg-ence yet, we explore what this painting could possibly be since we have no image of it. Furthermore, we also speculate on the sym-bolism that may be ap-pealing to Woodward that holds great meaning to the artist. It is part of our effort to explore a more intimate look inside his interest.

07-06-2022 A NEW STORY

An Autumn Song

Our work in processing all of the news clippings and articles in Woodward's scrapbook is producing opportunities to reveal some things about paintings for which we have no images. This is a great example, and we offer two insights of import to its name and month.

04-19-2023 NEW CONTEXT

God's Quiet Acre

More on our effort to get all the article in RSW's scrapbooks to the web-site, here we paid special attention to this chalk drawing. Jeanette Matt-hews of the Springfield Republican is a great art reviewer and one of our favorites. Note what she says about this painting...

01-23-2022 IN TRIBUTE

Miss Mabel Raguse

We are making every effort to update many of the Scrapbook pages originated by Dr. Purinton. Here we add some new perspectives on Miss Mabel touting her as one of Woodward's best customers despite her limited resources. Something RSW's greatly appreciated.

12-22-2022 NEW PICS

Unnamed: Guilford Farm; Conway

We had the great plea-sure to be invited to take new pictures of this un-named and unsigned painting. There is a ques-tion as to if it is a finished piece. There are missing details RSW would have normally filled in. It was sold after his death by his family.

07-01-2022 NEW PAINTING

Unnamed: Barnyard Blanket

You may have already seen this painting of Woodward's Hiram Woodward Place barn and yard just after a snow storm because it appear-ed as the featured art-work for the month of February in this year's Buckland Historical Society's calendar.

04-04-2023 ADDED INFO

Full Bloom

If you want to know how special a painting was to Woodward- look at where he exhibited it. In one of the best examples of a painting being over-looked, this is it. This page best illustrates how important our work to fully vet and add all the in-formation we have on where a painting hung.

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO ALL the previous updates from 2021 to 2014...