Quick Reference

Time Period:
Between 1925 -1928


Oil on Canvas



25 x 30





This painting came up for auction from the Thomaston (ME) Place Auction Galleries on November 11, 2018 and sold for a hammer price of $8,500. Previously is was sold in 1987 for $3,025.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Grey Heights

RSW's Diary Comments

RSW's signature found in the lower right corner

There are no diary comments for this painting. In fact, the only record we have of this painting comes from a small newspaper clipping (seen below) and they spelled the name wrong in both words! There may be a chalk drawing of the same or similar scene that exhibited in 1930 at the Longmeadow Woman's Club listed in our exhibition list as GRAY Heights (the emphasis is ours).

Additional Notes

Uncited clipping regarding this painting
Uncited clipping regarding this painting:

".....A hillside farm, in spite of its title a welcoming
place, is given added significance by the proportion
of sky in the composition. Mr. Woodward looks
at his landscape as Edwin Arlington Robinson looks
at people, not only to give their individuality but to
show the human quality."

Needless to say but this painting has been listed on the website as Gray Heights since its inception because the only record we had of the painting was an old clipping from RSW's scrapbooks which incorrectly spelled the name and that it had sold at auction in 1987 from Sotheby's for $3025. However, you can see clearly from the picture below, in Woodward's own hand, the painting's correct name.

Name in pencil on back of stretcher
In RSW's hand, the name on the back of stretcher
The painting in its frame
The painting in its frame

This painting came up for auction from the Thomaston (ME) Place Auction Galleries on November 11, 2018 and sold at a hammer price of $8,500. The auction site gave the following description of the painting: "...impasto oil on canvas, signed lower right, titled verso, housed in a vintage gold gesso frame with bright gold liner, OS: 32" x 37", SS: 24 1/2" x 29 1/2", cleaned and relined, minor retouching, fine craquelure." Live online, the auctioneer also stated the frame was "22-carat gold inlay" (the gesso).

Although we do not have any specific records dating the painting. It is believed to have been painted after 1925 and no later than 1928. This determination is based upon two factors: (1) the impasto style brush application was the most common technique used by RSW up to 1928, yet (2) there appears to be little to no use of a high-gloss varnish RSW commonly used between 1918 and 1925.

As a final note on this painting, it is believed that the name is derived from what appears to be a grey haze formed on the horizon just above the hills in the distance, somewhat matching the weathered grey boards of the farm. The painting, for its age, appears to be in very good condition. It also appears to have been reframed at some unknown time, and its value has increased since it was last sold in 1987. According to a dollar value convertion website, "...$3,025 in 1987 is equivalent in purchasing power to $6,527.18 in 2018," meaning it has outpaced inflation by $1,972.82 in that time.