Featured Artwork: Out of The Past

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted in summer of 1930. My first painting of the old Hitchcock Elm in old Deerfield. The house, once the studio of George Fuller, now owned by his son Arthur Fuller. Sold from my first Macbeth Gallery Exhibition to Mr. and Mrs. Francis M. Whitehouse of New York and Manchester, Mass. (Mr. Whitehouse, 1942 died a few years ago."

Additional Notes

To the Right:

An article clipping from the New Hamphire Transcript regarding RSW's exhibition at the Deerfield Academy (1932). It is one of 12 oil paintings mentioned in the article and one of 20 oil paintings and 10 chalk drawings exhibited.

Comments in a notebook by RSW:

Sold June 12, 1933 to Mr. and Mrs. Francis M. Whitehouse through Macbeth Gallery, N.Y. city for $450.00....less 33 1/3... $300."

The Greenfield Recorder, May 31, 1932

"Out of the Past was painted this spring and has a particular appeal to Deerfield, for it is a study of the 'Hitchcock Elm.'"

See also August Shade, a very similar painting of the Hitchcock Elm.


Image below taken from this program for the Buckland Congregational Church, October 1935, with Out of The Past on the cover

Cover od Prgressive Farmer, October 1935

Click on image above for enlarged image.

Bonus Material

Photograph of the Elm and House from around the time Woodward painted it.
Photograph of the Elm tree and House
from around the time Woodward painted it.

The house seen in this painting was built in 1783, on a tract of land that in 1686 was designated as Deerfield communial land until 1759 and is affectionately referred to as "The Little Brown House" on Albany Road in Old Deerfield near the Academy. By the 1880's and '90's the house was in terrible condition.

In 1890, George Sheldon a 'Preservationist' and founder of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (1870), one of the first preservation societies in the country wrote and published a book on the home's history and restoration titled The Little Brown House on Albany Road.

The Elm Tree along the house derives its name from the numerous 'Hitchcocks' that lived there throughout its history, the most prominent being Edward Hitchcock who taught at the Deerfield Academy, rising to become its principal (1815-18) and then on to teach at and become the president of Amherst College in 1845. The bookstore at the academy is named after him.

"The Little Brown House" also served as the studio of George Fuller (1822 - 1884) was an American figure and portrait painter. As can be seen from the photograph to the right, one of the more impressive features of "The Little Brown House" was its large east facing window which could serve as a great 'artist window.'

The Little Brown House from the front
"The Little Brown House" from the front

For more about Deerfield artist George Fuller you have two options, first there is this link to the, Nation Gallery of Art profile or you can view this link to Wikipedia: George Fuller (painter)

One can read The Little Brown House on Albany Road in its entirety on this link to the Smithsonian Library website.

Woodward painted the house and elm tree two other times, please see August Shade and Hitchcock Elm for more