Featured Artwork: My Winter Shelf

RSW's Diary Comments

The following comments are attributed to My Winter Shelf, however, the editors believe is really attributed to The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene

"Painted about 1925. A painting made in my early career of the long west window shelf of my Old Studio (which was burnt). Bought by Mr. John T. Spaulding of 99 Beacon St., Boston, I think from the exhibition I had in the Ball Room of Mrs. Ronald T. Lyman's house on Beacon St., Boston, in 1926 altho I am not certain of this place of purchase."

Notes: (Added in the sidelines of the original diary)

"Now owned by Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the famous Spaulding Collection."

Note - The editors now conclude to be a mistake because the Museum of Fine Arts records the painting in their collection as being a 25 x 30 which matches the size of The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene

Additional Notes

the red lantern
Red lantern is still in
the artist's studio.

Exhibited at 39 Beacon Street, Boston, the home of Mrs. Ronald T. Lyman

"....My Winter Shelf, considered by critics as one of the gems shown at the one-man show is the picture of the window end of a study, with books and flowers and other 'friendly' things on the window shelf and a beautiful snow scene outdoors. The shining white wonders of the outdoors and the color of the shelf make a splendid contrast....".

"This painting was originally purchased by Mrs. Henry Everett who willed it to the Pasadena Art Museum. They in turn sold it at a Sotherby's Los Angles auction on March 17,1980, sale # 272, lot 325, to an unknown buyer."

Comments from an art dealer:

"aquired from a private collector in 1976-77. Owned by Guinta family for 30 years. Private collection, NY. Purchased by a Halligan."

My Winter Shelf and The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene are forever intertwined in part because of their similarities in composition but also RSW mixing the two in his diary comments. What's more is that both paintings were purchased by renown collectors, Mr. Spaulding and Mrs. Everett respectively. However, unlike other "copies" Woodward had done, these two have notable differences and they are as follows:

Size - The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene is 25 x 30 inches and My Winter Shelf is 30 x 36.

Buyers - The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene was bought by John Spaudling and gifted to Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA. My Winter Shelf was purchased by Mrs. Henry Everett (see her Scrapbook story).

Content - My Winter Shelf has a man shoveling snow outside the window, the candle and statue of a man and woman sitting. The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene has the glass medallion and the water pitcher. Both paintings contain the red lantern shown above

A nearly identical painting to My Winter Shelf for sale on E-Bay titled My Winter Desk and is listed as a 30 x 36. Close comparisons of the two images reveal that the E-Bay painting has a man outside the window shoveling snow, has no glass medallion hanging over one of the window panes, has no candlestick, and the geranium plant on the right side of the shelf is entirely different. The editors believe this painting is My Winter Shelf and is mis-labeled My Winter Desk.

Additional Notes: Articles

1926 Springfield Republican article
Boston Globe Article

The two images (left and above) both incorrectly cite that famed art collectorJohn Spaulding purchased My Winter Shelf from the 1926, Lyman Exhibition in Boston. This however is incorrect, the website has established that Mr. Spaulding in fact bought The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene.

Below is a side by side comparison with the main differences highlighted in red.

Side by side comparison
On the left (above) is My Winter Shelf and to the right is The Window: Still Life and a Winter Scene