Quick Reference

Time Period:

Off Jacksonville Stage Rd., facing
west in West Halifax, Vermont

Oil on Canvas


Trees, Houses



Mr. & Mrs. H.R. Patch



The Patches were long time friends of RSW. He was close enough to visit and stay on the Cape with them and for their son to use the the Little Shop on their honeymoon.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: American Heritage

The image above is of Dooryard Elm, which according to Helen Patch
is the companion to her painting but, "from a different angle," and in the fall.

RSW's Diary Comments

An excerpt from a letter by Helen Patch to the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group sometime in December 1969:

Well anyway, my painting is a November picture which R.S.W. called American Heritage. It has a companion piece: - the same house and elm tree up in Heath, but painted in June, from a different angle; this one is lush, luxuriant green of early summer; it was purchased by George Burns and "Gracie Allen" (radio + films); Mr. Burns is still alive - somewhere in Southern California I suppose..."

RSW's Diary Comments for Dooryard Elm

"Painted in 1936. At my Halifax (Vt.) House. Taken by Harold Grieve from the studio in 1937 to Hollywood, California, and sold by him to Gracie Allen and George Burns of radio and movie fame for the library of their home at 720 North Maple Drive, Beverly Hills, California, which Mr. Grieve had decorated, as one of the most prominent interior decorators of the country."

Additional Notes

Newspaper clipping of George Burns and Gracie Allen with the painting
Newspaper clipping of George Burns and
Gracie Allen with the painting...

In the school year of 1969-70, the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group chose Woodward as its project. The purpose of the group's project was to compile a complete catalogue of Woodward's work. The group began a letter-writing campaign to museums, galleries and libraries across the country. As primary sources, the group used Woodward's cousin Florence Haeberle, his close friend F. Earl Williams and long time employee and beneficiary Dr. Mark Purinton. The group began collecting names of local people believed to be in possession of paintings and drawings for a year-end exhibition held at Deerfield's Hilson Gallery as well as for cataloging purposes. In letters to prospective owners, the group asked for (1) confirmation of ownership, (2) all information related to the work, (3) to share the names of any other owners they knew of and (4) to provide any remembrance or recollection of Woodward himself. Of all the people who responded to the letter campaign, most deferred recollections of Woodward to the aforementioned three of Haeberle, Williams and Purinton, with just a couple of exceptions. Helen Patch is one of those exceptions. She doesn't share a lot, but what she shares is pure gold.
Read her Recollections by CLICKING HERE!

Mrs. Hatch reveals in her first letter that she does own a painting. Its name is American Heritage and it is similar to another painting sold to George Burns and his wife Gracie Allen of radio and television fame. The Burns painting is Dooryard Elm as seen in the clippings to the right.

Inexplicably, American Heritage did not make the Complete Works List compiled by the students.

the living room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
North Adams Transcript, Jan. 5, 1937

Mrs. Patch reveals in another letter that her and her husband also possess an Illumination made by RSW early in his career. The location of American Heritage and the illumination are unknown at this time. We are currently pursuing a number of leads that are very promising.

the living room of George Burns and Gracie Allen
Dooryard Elm hangs on the wall in the living
room of George Burns and Gracie Allen