Quick Reference

Time Period:
Approx. 1939

Technically there is no location. This
painting is a composite of RSW's
own creation from other works

Oil on Canvas


Roads & Streets

All chalks are roughly the same size
( 22" x 29" )

Williston Academy 1939
Northfield Seminary, 1941
Myles Standish Hotel, 1940 - '42




This drawing has gone overlooked for many years. One of the reasons is it sharing a name with the oil painted in the same year and later "cut-down" because of a controversal composition. This drawing's whereabouts are unknown and we do not know if its composition is the same or similar to its oil namesake.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Early Autumn, Chalk

Early Autumn Chalk
The above image is of In Early Autumn, Oil painted in the same year, 1939.

RSW's Diary Comments

RSW never commented on his chalk drawings except when exhibited. They were noted in his exhibition records and the only reason we know this drawing exist.

Additional Notes

"Cut-down" of In Early Autumn
renamed Early Autumn

Not much is known of this chalk drawing other than it exhibited 3 times beginning in 1939, in the same year as In Early Autumn, Oil, first exhibited. Given the information we have, we assume it is of a similar composition as one of the 5 other paintings and most likely, closest to In Early Autumn, Oil. In Early Autumn, Oil, was sent to Los Angeles for Harold Grieve's client Gussie Borun. She did not like it and it was returned to RSW in 1941. This means the chalk and oil are not being confused with each other. Each piece has its own documneted journey and separate exhibits.

In Early Autumn, Oil, has an unflattering history. After spending a couple of years in LA, unsold, it was returned, exhibited once in 1941, sat idle in the studio for a couple of years before going to RSW's Boston agent, Vose Gallery and hanging for another four years. Sometime in 1949 - '50, the decision was made to cut the canvas down and renamed it Early Autumn. RSW barely remarked on the painting in his diary and even got the year wrong. See the comments and addendum from Down an August Road below for more...

Comments and Addendum from In Early Autumn, Oil

"Painted in 1945. Exhibited at Vose Galleries in 1945."

ADDENDUM to this dairy comment:

There are a number of issues regarding the history of this painting and these comments (above) do not help in anyway. It could be that the true journey of this painting was somewhat of an embarassment to RSW. For the longest time, it was believed that Down an August Road was the version of this Hill Road (Heath, MA) painting to be cut down and later renamed Early Autumn. However, a more serious look into all of the "Hill Road" paintings using our Exhibitions List as the main reference clears the matter up quite simply. This painting first exhibited in 1939 at the gallery of Interior Designer and RSW friend Harold Grieve, then at the Jones Library and later the Vose Gallery (RSW's Boston agent) for four years. It was cut-donw in 1950 and then sold. It is unknown why RSW would get the year incorrect, but none the less it is. It is clear from the sepia that this painting has the field which was later cut in half. Down an August Road does NOT contain any similarities, other than the road, other than the road and surrounding trees

A side-by-side comparison of Down an August Road, (left) once believed to have been cut-down
and In Early Autumn (right) now believed to be the painting cut-down and renamed Early Autumn