Quick Reference

Time Period:

Silo at Barnard farm
Patten District, Shelburne Falls, MA

Chalk Drawing


Farms, Lanscapes & Views

22 x 29

Myles Standish Gallery, 1929
Pittsfield (MA) Art League, 1932
Southern Vermont AA, 1933
Myles Standish Gallery, 1944

NA, private



There are 3 known versions of this artwork and on top of that it shares same title as a completely different piece.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: High In New England #2

RSW's Diary Comments

Editor's Note & Commentary:

There are no diary comments regarding this subject for the following reasons. This subject has three versions we know of, however, two of them are chalk drawing in which Woodward did not keep any records, and the one and only known oil painting is not only unsigned but unnamed. The big question is why this seemingly typical subject for Woodward never got elevated to a satisfactory enough scene to paint, sign, name, and exhibit an epic version.

The 3 paintings of this scene:
Unnamed: High on a Hill, an oil
High In New England #2, a chalk drawing
From High In New England, a chalk drawing

Complicating matters more is the fact that there is ANOTHER chalk drawing by the same name of a completely different subject (to the right).

Forget the numbering. That has more to do with the website being aware of one painting before it learns there is another of the same name. Still, we could not tell you with any certainty which drawing that shares the same name came first, although, we believe the barn and silo scene was first and exhibited at the Myles Standish Gallery in 1929 from newspaper descriptions.

A close up of the drawing's name.
A close up of the drawing's name.

Additional Notes

A photograph of the silo and view from the farm in the painting.
A photograph of the Barnard's barn
and silo and view from the farm in the painting.

The scene is of David Barnard's farm at the end of Patten Road in Shelburne, MA, looking north toward Colrain and Vermont. The silo has now been removed and the 'whitewash' paint has faded back to gray barn boards.

Below are descriptions for, High in New England:

Boston Globe, May, 1929 by A. J. Philpott

"....High in New England is a gem. In it you look across the hilltops onto a wonderful sky. The whole thing is radiant."

New York Herald Tribune, Sunday, Sept. 3, 1933 by Royal Cortissoz

"Then there is a singularly vital pastel, High in New England, brilliantly technically and particularly impressive in its characterization of a scene, both beautiful and grim."

A photograph of the silo and view from the farm in the painting.
A handwritten note by Woodward to its new owners

Given the details of the descriptions above, particularly the reference of looking "across hilltops onto a wonderful sky," one can only assume that it is this scene and NOT the one of the man raking the grass in front of his crumbling home in Rowe, Massachusetts.

Complicating the situation is the handwritten note [to the left] by Woodward to its buyers in 1948. The questions we raise in the section above as to how this scene was NOT elevated to more than two known chalk drawing and an unsigned and unnamed oil painting is exasperated by three clear facts.

Woodward apparently kept this chalk in his private collection for 20 years before selling it.
He admits as much in his note, saying, "In the silo chalk to have what I consider, one of the most
     characterful and success[ful] pictures I ever made. To be truthful I was loathe to part with it!"

A chalk drawing by this same name exhibits in Woodward's first (1929) and his LAST (1944)
     exhibits held at the Myles Standish Hotel Gallery in Boston, indicating this it is not in fact a
     mistake but true. Not only that, the 1944 show was a collection of a number of Woodward's
     favorite paintings shown as a finale for the hotel before it closed shortly after.