Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted, summer 1945.

Dungarvin District
Shelburne Falls, MA

Oil on Canvas


Woods, Trees

25 X 30

Vose Gallery (Boston), 1945 -'49
So. Vermont Artist Assoc., 1950




The Dungarvin district is the area at the upper end, right side of Elm Street on the Buckland side of Shelburne Falls, MA.

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Featured Artwork: Birch Woodland

RSW's Diary Comments

"A painting of woodland interior (almost no sky) showing tangled groups of small slender white birches in the center and a pair of larger foreground birches to the left of the canvas. Painted in late summer of 1945 in the Dungarvin district at the edge of Shelburne Falls."

Additional Notes

Birch Woodland
Birch Woodland Sepia

Robert Strong Woodward had a long, close relationship with Emmett Naylor, a New York lawyer who spent his summers in Cummington Massachusetts. In 1938, Robert Strong Woodward painted Heart of New England, specifically designed to it fit over Emmett's fireplace. It hung there only a few weeks before his death in July. Emmett's family returned the painting to RSW, who then sent it to a New York gallery to be resold. Almost twenty years later, and shortly before his death in 1957, RSW, invited Emmett's son, Winford Sr., to come to the studio to pick out a painting of his choice. Winford, Sr. brought his 8 year old daughter, and asked her to pick out the painting. She chose Birch Woodland. She inherited the painting from her father and now lives in Scotland, U.K.

That story is confirmed by an e-mail from the daughter received in 2013. She tells the following story.

"Mr. Woodward asked my father to come to his studio, on his death, and select whichever painting he liked. I remember visiting the studio sixty years ago when I was eight. My father suggested that I select the painting as I was the artist in the family, and I selected Woodland Birch (sic). It now hangs over my living room fireplace. Living in Scotland (UK), it is a lovely reminder of my homeland."

For years, we believed the title of this painting was Woodland Birch, and only recently found the correct name was Birch Woodland when the owner examined the title handwritten on the back of the canvas stretcher frame. She confirmed that the name, handwritten by RSW on the back of the canvas stretcher frame is indeed Birch Woodland.