Quick Reference

Time Period:
1933 ?

Rowe, MA

Chalk Drawing


Houses, People & Livestock

22 x 29

Southern Vermont AA, 1933




This drawing shares the same subject of a crumbling and weathered house in Rowe, MA. A subject RSW covered in two other paintings.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: High In New England #1

RSW's Diary Comments

Comments taken from New England Essence diary remarks:

"Painted in 1943. A canvas made in the studio in the winter of 1943, from sketches in oil made a number of years ago. (Also made chalk drawing of this same subject, now owned by Charles Stoddard of Greenfield) of the quaint old house in Rowe, Mass (now demolished). Have made several paintings in the past of this rare old house. Sold by Vose Galleries in Atlanta, Georgia, April 1, 1947 to Dr. Amey Chappell of Atlanta, Georgia."

High in New England #2
High in New England #2, 1929
We have confirmed this chalk drawing is the one
that first exhibited at the Myles Standish Gallery
in 1929 as well as the same gallery in 1944.


Woodward did not start his "Painting Diary" until the latter part of his career, approximately 1941. His memory is not always reliable. We do not have any records, other than his testimony, "Have made several paintings in the past of this rare old house." We know of only 2 chalk drawings, High in New England and Abandoned Heights and this oil. To complicate matters more. The name "High in New England" was used more than once, for two different subjects, each with a chalk drawing and a oil painting. We do not have any of the "oil sketches" or the other oil paintings in our catalog to date.

Editor's Note & Commentary:

While is has been confirmed that High in New England #2 is the 1929 drawing that hung at the Myles Standish Gallery. It is uncertain what chalk drawing is being described by New York Art Critic Royal Cortissoz, Sunday, September 3, 1933:

"Then there is a singularly vital pastel, "High in New England," brilliantly technically and particularly impressive in its characterization of a scene, both beautiful and grim."

The question is, which chalk drawing is both beautiful and grim. It may seem obvious, it is this drawing with the condition of the house and solitude of the man in the front yard. However, The other chalk, is also grim in a stark way, though the barn is not as weather-beaten as most of his other barns. We believe it is likely this drawing but do not have as great a confidence as the 1929 drawing.

Additional Notes

Close Up of RSW's signature and the title.
Close Up of RSW's signature and the title.

The only drawback to believing this might be the 1933 chalk drawing that exhibited at the Southern Vermont Artist Association in Manchester, Vermont, is that another version of the scene or the house for another decade in 1943. We have no date for the only other known Rowe, MA, house, Abandoned Heights [lower right hand corner]. But if you look carefully, the rear of the house, the annex behind it, is in tack in this drawing suggesting Abandoned Heights was made earlier than the other paintings.

High in New England Close Up
A closer look at the man raking hay
in the front yard.
High in New England Close Up
A closer look at the house. Note the condition of
the windows, clapboards and missing annex.
Roof collapse and damage
Roof collapse and damage. This damage or collapse does not appear in the drawing Abandoned Heights.
However, we can't see the annex from the chalk drawing of this page. There is damage on the roof but not as bad.