Quick Reference

Time Period:

Leyden Village, Mass.
Down the hill from town hall

Chalk on Board


Houses, People & Livestock





This chalk drawing is the sister of an oil by the same name, however, different in one critical way.

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Regarding the
Chalk Drawings

The following is an excerpt from, "An Artist of his Time", a lecture, hosted by the Friends of RSW, on RSW by Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, which also did a feature article on RSW. CLICK HERE to view the Article

"...the pastel works - they're just fantastic. And I'm afraid that they photograph very well but you don't really appreciate the difficulty of making them until you see them up close. That as you know with pastel, you have to be very very good to make it work, because it hard to correct a mistake. With oil paint it's much easier to cover over the error. But these are really really spectacular."

October 4, 2014
Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief
Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine

Featured Artwork: The Genial Old House, Chalk


If you have any information regarding this artwork, please
contact us

RSW's Diary Comments

The Genial Old House, Oil
The Genial Old House, Oil, 1933

This unique house in Leyden, MA, has a distinct front
facing gable (the triangle shape) and the side porch
with gothic archways. The home still exist today.

Woodward almost never commented in his diary about chalk drawings although remarkable in their own right, so we often include his comments regarding the oil sibling.

The following is RSW's comments regarding the oil painting Genial Old House.

"Painted about 1930. The front facade and ell of a rare old house in Leyden village. House the main subject, weather beaten old white paint, with faded battered old green blinds, very fascinating to me. I have always considered this one of my finest expressions, perfectly painted, really ?big? picture, but it has never been very popular with the public. Farmer's wife in black with black cat in front yard."

Comments on the back of a sepia print for the oil painting:

"One of my most loved canvases. House faded white, much weathered, soaking in the sun, faded green blinds. Delicate and lovely in color. Outstanding canvas."


See the Additional Notes Section Below for HOW THIS SCENE DIFFERS FROM THE OIL


Additional Notes

Springfield Republican, Dec. 11, 1929
To read Ms. Matthews full review, CLICK ON IMAGE

Jeanette C. Matthews's review of this painting:

"The others I group together because they have a central theme growing out of human habitations. 'The Genial Old House' is probably the friendliest of these. Its gable and the arches of the wing satisfied Mr. Woodward's love of harmony in line, the couch and the old man barely suggested in the drawing strike that note of homliness`which recurs persistent in Mr. Woodward's pictures."

Man on bench from Country Piazza
Man on bench from Country Piazza, 1929

What do you think the symbolism of the man resting
on a couch or bench on the porch of their home means?

Editor's Note:

Note that Ms. Matthews (who writes excellent reviews) describes the house accurately with front facing gable and the arches of the wing. But she also mentions a man and a couch which does NOT appear in the 1933 oil painting. Nor does she mention a woman with a saucer of milk for the cat trailing her. It is unlikely Ms. Matthews would leave out such information and so we are certain this chalk drawing is the same house but a very different scene.

This chalk drawing was likely made the same year, but after, Country Piazza (Feb.-Mar. 1929) which just so happens to have a man resting on the bench of his very gothic porch (piazza). The importance of the year and the timing of these two paintings with similar themes is that Country Piazza was made around the time the first tremor of impending financial disaster in March of 1929 and this pastel painting just weeks after Black Tuesday, the stockmarket crash that started the Great Depression Era.

Painted in Leyden Village, Mass. down the hill from the town hall. House still standing, refaced but essentially the same.

Picture of house today.
An old photograph of the Genial Old House from
what we believe was a number of years after
and perhaps a casualty of the depression.
Picture of house today.
The Genial Old House as it looks today