Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted in 1930-1931.

Marlboro, VT




27 X 30

Grand Central Galleries (NYC),1931
Mt. Holyoke Coll. Dwight Hall, 1931
Amherst Coll. Jones Library, 1932
Fitchburg Art Center, 1932
Macbeth Galleries (NYC), 1932
Valleyhead Sanitarium, 1934
Syracuse (NY) MFA, 1934

Bradley Polytechnic Institute



"A smaller canvas like Enduring New England painted from Marlboro church." RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: The Marlboro Church

Marlboro Church
This photo is of: Enduring New England

RSW's Diary Comments

Enduring New England, oil, sepia
Enduring New England, oil, sepia

"Painted in 1930-1931. A smaller canvas like Enduring New England painted from Marlboro church and the big canvas, and bought by Bradley Polytechnic Institute, Peoria, Illinois, and hung in the school."

Editor's Note:

This painting named The Marlboro Church is a 27' x 30 smaller reproduction of the much larger, 40" x 50" Enduring New England. The scene is one of the most quintessential New England village paintings in the artist oeuvre. So much so, it has become synonymous with Woodward's brand. Unfortunately, so has the New England church which was not a focus of his interest. In fact, outside of the Marlboro church and the Mary Lyon Church just down the street from his Southwick studio in Buckland, no other painting features a church outside the Francis P. Garvan Commission.

Though Woodward embraced this scene as part of his brand it is important to distinguish that the scene's importance is of the village center, the heart of the community. A church in the image is inconsequential being that it is near impossible to find a New England town center without a church as its anchor with most churches also serving as the town's meeting house for public meetings.

Additional Notes

A young Woodward on a fence with friends
A young Woodward on a fence, third from the
right, with friends while a student at Bradley in
Peoria, IL between sometime between 1903 - '05

Woodward lived in Peoria, IL, with his parents from August of 1902 through the Spring of 1904. His father, a real estate developer, was assigned to the now historic Highland neighborhood's development. He attended the newly formed Bradley Polytechnic Institute (now Bradley University) as a student reportedly preparing to study engineering in college later. He would receive his high school diploma from the school in 1904 but stayed on another two years after winning a scholarship for the school's college prep course.

A drawing of
This sketch of the Christ Church Limestone in
Hanna City, IL, just west of Peoria, was drawn by Wood-
ward while a student attending Bradley Polytechnic
Institute sometime between 1903 and 1905.

His parents would leave their son behind to continue his education and head to Los Angeles, California where his company was moving its operations. Woodward would stay with a local family, the Bourlands, and as part of his scholarship work as a teaching assistant for the Literature Department. In this time, he would meet two life long friends, classmate and fellow artist Joseph Cowell,(we believe to be the young man to the far right in the picture above) and Smith College student, Ethal Dow, who just so happen to be the college roommate of the eldest Bourland daughter Julia. Julia's brother, Fred, would come with young Rob to California in June of 1906 to work for Woodward's father. He was present when Woodward had his terrible accident with a .32 caliber revolver after a weekend of camping in the San Gabriel mountains just three months later.

Out of the Mist
Out of the Mist, 1919
One of the 7 paintings to hang at Bradley in
1919 and mentioned in all the newspapers.

Woodward would return to the school triumphantly in April 1919. He would send 7 paintings to their annual art exhibition (the 7th year of the show) two years after he started his career as professional landscape artist a month after winning first prize for the Hallgarten Award given to the best artist under the age of 35 at the Nation Academy of Design's annual show. He was celebrated and remembered fondly in the newspapers, especially in an article by a former classmate, Chas Lambert, titled Echos of the Past. Another article reports the school purchased one of the seven paintings. Unfortunately, not only do we not know which painting (it is not named). Worse yet, we only know the names of four of the paintings. No article list all seven painting names!

Woodward did make one more version of this scene. However, technically it is what he referred to as a "composite painting" meaning he added features to the composition not actually present. The painting, New England, 1940, incorporates trees from two other paintings to fill out the broad perspective of the unusual 20" x 40" canvas. The size was something Woodward experimented with to fit over the mantles of fireplaces with not a lot of height above it. Another example is End of the Road, 1944.