Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted prior to 1930.

Old Hiram Woodward studio

Oil on Canvas

Still Life

Still Lifes

25 x 30

Grand Central Galleries (NYC),1931
Myles Standish Galleries, 1931 / '33
Smith Coll. Tryon Gallery, 1931
Deerfield Inn, 1931
Amherst Coll. Jones Library, 1934
Syracuse Museum of Fine Art, 1934

Remained in RSW home



Painting still hangs above the fireplace in the home of the artist. It was one of the artist's favorite still life paintings.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Against an India Print

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted prior to 1930. Painted in back room of old studio. Geranium, one Mrs. Mazanec gave me in 1928, and still owned by me and blooming in 1941. Exhibited in various places."

Comment on the back of a sepia print:

"Pale red, green, gray and cream India print. A cherry red single geranium in a tin painted hunter-green. The whole very perfect in textures. .....$450. Would be extremely decorative against your gray-green walls."

Additional Notes

My Winter Shelf
My Winter Shelf (1926) is a view of the Hiram
corner window. The south window is to the left.

Painting always hung above the fireplace in the home of the artist. It was one of the artist's favorite still life paintings. It is also distinctly unique from any other Still Life. For one thing, the wine, and liquor bottles do not appear in any other painting we know of. For another, Woodward is using light in an interesting way. The Indian print is pinned up against the glass of the west-facing corner window in the Hiram Woodward studio diffusing the light from the west and allowing the neutral light of the south to provide the lighting of the subject.

This painting was exhibited recently at the Buckland Public Hall and a great granddaughter remembered the story of her great grandmother giving RSW the geranium in this painting. It grew and bloomed for at least 13 years.

Woodward's mother Mary Strong
Woodward's mother Mary
Strong sitting on her chair
in the Southwick home.

The Scarlett Geranium is perhaps Woodward's favorite flower. It appears in over 70 paintings, which includes a couple of outdoor landscapes, a couple of true Still Life paintings, and more than half of all the Window Picture paintings.

The reason is quite simple. First, it was his mother's favorite flower and he was very close to his mother. He is after all HER namesake and she encourage and fostered his artistic nature. His older brother Ory was his father's. But also, it was his mother's favorite author, Charles Dickens's favorite flower and Dickens is cited as once expressing his love for the geranium as being the most accessible flower to all, "it is so cheap one need only a pot and some dirt." Accessibility is an important subject to Woodward, whether it be toward art, education, literature... what have you.

So not only is the geranium a tribute to his mother and Charles Dickens but also the artist's favorite subject social economics and beauty being accessible to all.