Featured Artwork: High in Plainfield

RSW's Diary Comments


Additional Notes

Exhibit Program Cover

This piece was exhibited at the 1928 J. H. Miller Co. Galleries Exhibition along with 37 other paintings and chalk drawings.

Was originally located on Central Street in Plainfield, MA,. We have recently learned it was located on South Central Street, a few miles south of town center. S. Central's path has changed since 1927 when RSW drew the chalk and so pinpointing the exact location is difficult.

Below: is the McCall's October 1927 cover for which High in Plainfield. accompanied an essay by Corrine Roosevelt Alsop. To view a hi-res image of the magazine cover and article Click Here or the button provided below.

McCall's Magazine Cover, October 1927
McCall's Magazine Cover, October 1927

The above chalk drawing was the featured illustration of an essay by Corrine Roosevelt Alsop. It is very unusual and it has us asking if the drawing was made specifically for print. The chalk is very monotoned in color, as if, RSW purposely designed it for print. He did not color the barn's wood or the sky, he went dark and heavy on the black and muted the greens and blues for the distant landscape.

We also wonder if there may have been a connect between RSW and Aslop. Was Alsop made aware of RSW by Adeline Havemeyer Frelinghuysen, whose wedding to her husband P.H.B. Ballentine, featured FDR as a groomsman.? Aslop is the cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt and was a bridesmaid in her wedding to FDR. RSW may have met Adeline in the summer of 1927. She had a preference for pastels and may have spoken highly of him. Adeline, over the course of Woodward's career, was by far an away his best customer.

As a footnote: RSW would again appear as the featured artist to another story, two months later in McCall's December issue. [ see: Unnamed: From My Winter Shelf ] Only, the artwork was mis-credited to RSW friend Margorie Lunt. McCall's had the second highest circulation of women's magazines with roughly 750,000/month. Clearly Woodward's largest exposure to date in his career. Ladies Home Journal had a million subscribers.

Photos below courtesy of Ed Kohn, Plainfield, MA who owns the original Howes Brothers photos of the barn and homestead.

High in Plainfield Picture 2
The old farm house.

A photo (above) of the old farmhouse (out of
site to the right above) is shown in a similar Howe
brothers photograph taken in 1898. The barn was
taken down in 1953 and the beams and chestnut
planks used in restoring this house.

High in Plainfield Picture 1
The Barn, Mr. Shaw and his oxen.

The photograph (above) is from the Howes bro-
thers collection was sent to us to add to this site.
It was taken in 1897 showing the barn and Mr.
Shaw with his oxen:

Right: Springfield Union, April 1928, by Jeanette Matthews

J.H. Miller Article April, 1928
Clipping of the article reviewing the J.H. Miller Galleries Exhibition