Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted 1942 or 1943.

Heath, MA

Oil on Canvas


Beech Tree

25 X 30

Grand Central Galleries, 1942
Williston Academy, 1942
Deerfield Valley AA, 1942
Grand Central Galleries, 1943 - '44

George Gardner, Director of
the Judge Baker Guidence Center



One of my most unusual and successful paintings... A most popular canvas!RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Invitation

Invitation has a sister. The image above is of Open Doors painted in 1948 or 1949.
To view Open Doors hi-res image select link below
Click here for a high resolution image of Open Doors

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted 1942 or 1943. One of my most unusual and successful paintings. The Heath Beech and view framed by the open garage doors of the Heath Pasture House, brilliant sun and framing shadow, falling on the garage floor, a corner of the house itself showing out the doors at the left. A most popular canvas! Sold, (I do not know to whom) by the Grand Central Art Galleries of N. Y. in about 1943, (possibly 1942)."

Additional Notes

Heath Invitation color slide
A color photo from inside the
Heath garage which resembles the painting

The New York Times, Sunday, March 8, 1942

"There are the serene New England landscapes by Robert Strong Woodward, among which stands out the Invitation with its vista of fields bathed in light and seen from within a dark enclosure."

An almost identical painting, named Open Doors was made in 1948 or 1949, purchased by Mr. Clifford A. Richmond and presented to the Easthampton Public Library in 1951.

This painting (Invitation) was last known to hang in the Judge Baker Guidance Center, 295 Longwood Av., Boston, in the office of the director.

Letter from George Gardner to Woodward
Letter from George Gardner to Woodward typed
and signed on Judge Baker Guidence Center letterhead

The image above was located in a group of color slides found in Woodward's personal items. The slides hold the ONLY color images we have from Woodward's time! The pictures were taken by close friend and amateur photographer F. Earl Williams on one of his visits in the early 1940s. Kodak ChromaColor was relatively new at the time. It was launched in 1935 and was the industry standard well into the 1980s.

We have identified a number of photographs in RSW's personal items that resemble or can be linked to specific paintings in his catalogue leaving us asking what role photography played in creating these paintings. Did he use them as a reference? Or during a bout of poor weather, did he turn to the photos to work on till he could get back out in the open air?

To the left, is a letter from George Gardner, Director of the Judge Baker Guidence Center, who tracked down the painting and purchased it to hang in his office at the center.

Woodward would later (1949 - '50) paint another, silimar painting he named Open Doors which was bought promptly by his friend Clifford Richmond who donated it to the Easthampton (Mass.) Public Library.