Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted about 1939

Old covered bridge
Charlemont, Mass.

Oil on Canvas


Brooks, Ponds, Rivers, Mountains

24 X 36





The Charlemont bridge was destroyed by the hurrican of 1938 and the subsequent flooding that resulted.

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Featured Artwork: Down Through Summer Hills

Through Summer Hills, Chalk
The above image is of Through Summer Hills, Chalk. The original sepia the original painting can be seen below.

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted about 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."

Editor's Note:

According to the diary comments made by RSW and first hand account of MLP, Woodward painted the Charlemont Bridge sometime in the mid-1920s but was not satisfied with it. It sat with his paintings to be destroyed for years. After the hurricaine of 1938 that washed out the bridge RSW pulled out the original unsatisfactory painting of the bridge and made a new oil and chalk and destroyed the original.

Additional Notes

A photo of the old covered bridge before it was
destroyed in the hurricane and flood of 1938.

The only image we have of this scene is the 1938 chalk drawing. Woodward painted several versions of this scene. Two in the 1920s, one exhibiting twice at the Lyman exhibit in 1926 and later at the 1928 J.H. Miller show, the other was unsatisfactory but Woodward held on to it. After the 1938 hurricane took out the bridge he pulled out the earlier, unsatisfactory painting, and made several versions, including a chalk drawing. We suspect that Woodward wanted to take advantage of the local sentiment for the bridge and its loss.

Charlemont Bridge
From a collection of old photographs in
RSW's personal items this picture of the Charlmont
Bridge, before it was destroyed by the 1938 hurricane,
closely resembles the perspective of the artwork.

What makes this painting unique from the others is its size, 24" x 36", a more retangular and panoramic painting than any of the others which were more square in aspect ratio. We also have a photograph of the scene found in Woodward's personal scrapbooks. The picture holds a perspective we can match to a specific area of the chalk drawing that is near exact. We find it hard to believe that Woodward did not also use the photograph as an aid. The 1920s painting providing the colors, and the picture offering the broad scope of the scene. SEE IMAGE BELOW

Chalk drawing with picture superimposed
The chalk drawing with bridge photo superimposed on top. NOTE how the hills line up perfectly.