Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted Jan. 1944

Goodnow Road

Oil on Canvas


Roads & Streets, Houses

20 X 40

Grand Central Galleries (NYC),1932




"My first canvas of this size, made from The Big Chimney canvas with road, barn, mountains etc. added."RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: The End of the Road

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted Jan. 1944. My first canvas of this size, made from The Big Chimney canvas with road, barn, mountains etc. added. Made because Mr. and Mrs. ---------------- liked the big chimney but wanted a long flat panel for their fireplace wall. Was working on 2 of this size, when my February illness collapsed me. Took it to their home to try on April 20th and they bought it.

Additional Notes

This old house owned by Mr. Loomer, was built at 1795 and still exists on Village Hill Road in Williamsburg, Mass. It was a favorite subject of Woodward's being that he painted it or sketched it numerous times. There are two previous oil paintings At Lilac Time, 1934, and The Big Chimney, 1938,. Both were well received and widely exhbited paintings during Woodward's study of Depression-era rural New England life.

There are also 3 sketches of the same house in our Sketchbook Gallery respectively titled, Big Chimney 1, Big Chimney 2, and Big Chimney 3

Below are copies of two letters RSW sent regarding this 20" x 40" artwork. Because Woodward's handwritting can be difficult to read, we have transcribed the letters for you with minimal annotation with this one exception: There are places in his letters Woodward left exceptionally large gaps before the start of the next sentence. We took this to be a space-saving feature to indicate the start of a new paragraph make use of the whole page.


The End of the Road Letter pg 1
The End of the Road Letter 1, page 1

Letter one, page one: Jan. 24th, 1944

Jan. 25th, 1944
My Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxxxxxx - ever since you and your family were here at the studio just after Christmas - an evening I really much enjoyed, I have been thinking a great deal of you, and of your problem of getting just the right over mantle picture for your rather low ablong space. I have had the same problem to meet a number of times and in the past, as I believe I told you, I have twice made such a flat oblong panel. Both of them were rather promptly bold. Frequently having a call for such a shape, soon after you were here, I sketched this new canvas of that proportion. One of them is practically finished. The other one will be in a few days.
   Of course you may have decided something about filling your space by now - but if not, it would please me to have you want a week of ten days longer before you and your wife come to any decision, for I would very much like to have you see these paintings I have just been making. I would like to show them to you anyway, whether you thought best to own one of them or not - for it gave me much satisfaction to learn that you both cared for the rural type of New England life, which I especially like to paint. In some way, I will manage to come into your...

The End of the Road Letter pg 2
The End of the Road Letter 1, page 2

Letter one, page two: Jan. 24th, 1944

living room (even if I have to bring my small foldup wheelchair which is narrow) and will bring this painting down - so you can see them over your mantle. There would be absolutely no obligation on your part in the matter. You might not personally care for them - the color might not work but to pay the price, or there might be other reason personal to you. Why you might think best not to own one. I am not at all trying to force the matter. It would be to my advantage to have two paintings in the studio - of this long panel proportion any way. But surely I would like the pleasure of showing them to you, when they are finished - if you and your wife would like to have me.
    I will let you know when they are fully completed and ready to leave the studio. Of course I would at anytime be pleased to have you come to the studio - but I imagine it would please you to have them brought to your room itself - to see the effect of a proper size painting over your mantel - whether you finally kept one of mine, or not.
    Robert Strong Woodward

The End of the Road Letter pg 1
The End of the Road Letter 2, page 1

Letter two, page one: Feb. 16th, 1944

Feb. 16th, 1944
Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx following my letter to you three weeks ago, you may have thought it strange that you have heard nothing more from me - in the fact of the statements I wrote you about the new paintings I am making. It is because I have been very ill in bed for the part of two weeks, having gotten back to the studio rather weakly, only yesterday. The one 20 x 40, which I think is the one you and your family will care for the more is finished and I am greatly pleased with it - but I was working on the second one, two weeks ago, when I collapsed at my easel with gastro hemorrhages and nearly passed over the Border. It is a few days yet before the doctor thinks I had better begin painting. Two or three days will finish this second canvas - so I hope some time next week I'll be able to let you see them over your mantle - for the pleasure of it. Even if you do not think best to ?????? me. I can call you up to make our arrangements by telephone later.
    This note need not necessarily be answered - I just thought I had better report my absence!
    Robert Strong Woodward