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1919 Peoria Star, April 27
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Article Summary

This article was published on the last day of the exhibition itself. Its author, Chas. Lambert, may have known Woodward, and possibly been a classmate or friend. It is dramatic in its prose and its manner of storytelling. It contains detail that could have only come from Woodward himself. While it gets a number of things right, it does contain some errors that could have come from misunderstanding or rumor.

What the article got right:

  • It correctly says "revolver" as the culprit of RSW's accident and accurately decribes the accident as a mishandling of the gun.

  • It does correctly state, "civil engineer" as RSW's career path prior to the accident. What is unclear is whether Lambert was present for the quote he used. It is rumored that RSW considered his drawing a "hobby" during his years at Bradley. He did not consider himself an "artist" in the literal sense.

  • It provides good detail of RSW's work as an illustrator.

  • It confirms what we already know; that, "He painted all the familiar scenes visible from the windows of his home..."

What the writer got wrong:

  • Woodward attended Bradley for 4 years, not 2. He received his high school diploma from the school in 1904, then on scholarship as a teaching assistant in Literature, stayed another 2 years taking college prepatory classes while his parents moved on to Los Angeles.

  • Woodward's family did NOT move back east. We have no record of this. In fact, all the evidence points to RSW spending 4 years in California with his parents before heading off on his own to Boston, before joining family in Buckland. RSW's parents did not return to Buckland until the mid-1920s.

  • It incorrectly states that the Hallgarten Prize was $500, it was actually $300. However, the price paid to purchase the painting was $500.

  • We can't say if it is incorrect or not but... RSW never "wanted" to be a civil engineer. Letters as early as 1901, have him stating quite clearly his desire to attend the Boston (MA) Museum of Fine Arts School.
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Transcribed PDF version of article

Known Artwork Exhibited

What we learn from this article:

  • One of the seven paintings was to be purchased by the Arts and Crafts Club "as the beginning of an art collection of its own," for which we are previously unaware! The school itself did purchase, Marlboro Church, in the mid-1930s and remains among its collection. The painting purchased is unfortunately not named.

  • Lambert gives wonderful detail in describing Woodward's first forray into painting , en plein aire, from the field. He reportedly painted two paintings from his sleigh. This story, if true, could have only come from RSW himself.

  • We also learn it was a mild early spring day, with snow still on the ground. Lambert states, "That was only two years ago. " If accurate, it suggest that Woodward's first landscape paintings from beyond the windows and doors of his Redgate studio was in April of 1917!

  • Finally, we learn that Woodward worked on those paintings throughout the summer, re-painting them to "enlargements."

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