“Painted around 1930 or ’31. Painted at Marlboro, VT of the rare old church there, built in revolutionary times. Made this 40 x 50 at the spot in the car. Exhibited very generally about the country. One of the very few of the church canvases gotten down to Macbeth’s in time for Mr. Francis B. Garvan to see before his sudden and untimely death. He bought it and presented it to the Yale Museum of Fine Arts in New Haven, Conn. where it hangs in their permanent collection--- the only one of many of mine which were to hang there--- had not Mr. Garvan died. A year after I painted this, the old church burned and my painting of it seen at the Grand Central Art Galleries, was used partly as pattern to build a new but smaller replica in Marlboro."
“Learning that you are connected in some way with Brattleboro, I send this photograph of my painting Enduring New England
which was made in Marlboro, Vermont, a place you unquestionably know in your journeys to and from Halifax. I made the painting of the
rare old church 4 or 5 summers ago, the season before it was burnt to the ground. This canvas hung at the Grand Central Art Galleries,
#15 Vanderbilt Avenue, N. Y. at the time the church was burned. Strangely, the man who had been chosen to design the new church in
duplicate, saw the painting there, was very much interested and used my painting partially as model for the new structure. It
occurs to me, that if in remodeling your Halifax house, you are possibly hoping to duplicate the old red ell, my painting might be
of slight assistance to you. I imagine that sills and beams are quite too far gone to save as they are. Of course the ell still
stands and of course my painting was made in its state of graceful dilapidation, so this canvas may not be of any practical use to
you at all. But if it should happen that it might be of use to your architect, and I still have it in my possession at the time,
you are very welcome to use it. I would feel honored if for any way I could contribute to the remodeling or restitution of the dear
old Halifax house."
Signed: Robert Strong Woodward
(The above was written on the back of a sepia print of a photograph of this painting and then subsequently scratched out by RSW with a heavy pencil.)
An article clipping from the New Hamphire Transcript regarding RSW's exhibition at the Deerfield Academy (1932). It is one of 12 oil paintings mentioned in the article and one of 20 oil paintings and 10 chalk drawings exhibited.
Owned by the Yale University Art Gallery, Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, New Haven, Ct.
For provenance and The Story of Marlboro, VT church paintings Click Here.
"...The largest has been hung over the fireplace and is called Enduring New England. It shows a village church and common and a few houses and bares striking resemblance to a scene at Marlboro, Vt., although it might be almost any typical New England village."