Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted 1939

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

Oil on Canvas


Roads & Streets

25 X 30

Harold Grieve, LA, 1939
Jone Library, Amherst, Col., 1941
Vose Galleries 1945 - '49




This painting was later "cut-down" (approx. 1950) after exhibiting for 10+ years. The painting was criticized for having two focal points (the road through the trees and the field to its right) which held an unbalanced composition. So RSW eliminated a large portion of right size of the canvas and renamed it Early Autumn..

Related Links

Featured Artwork: In Early Autumn, later renamed Early Autumn

RSW's Diary Comments

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


For many years we incorrectly identified Down an August Road as the painting "cut-down" and later renamed Early Autumn because RSW cited it specifically in its diary comments. However, upon a recent review we realize he was referencing this painting, now believed to be the painting cut-down and renamed. Part of the confusion was that under his comments for this painting; not only did he say as little as possible but he also got the year totally wrong. Below are the diary comments for Early Autumn which makes clear this painting was not only painted from Down an August Road but a composite...

Dairy Comments for this painting under Early Autumn:

"Painted in 1940 in the studio from the canvas Down an August Road. Composition similar with buildings left out and coloring changed from summer to that of early fall. Made first for Gussie Borun (who owns the house at Halifax) of Beverly Hills, California, (through Harold Grieve) and sent out to California for Mrs. Borun to see, but she didn't care for it so it came back to me".

Additional Notes

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

In Early Autumn, Oil, has an unflattering history. After not being liked by its intended buyer, it returned from LA, unsold. It probably stayed in the studio for a couple of years, then exhibited once in 1941, and again, 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 did not re-sign the painting suggesting his displeasure of the whole experience. It sold quickly afterwards.

In 1939, the same year as In Early Autumn, Oil, is reportedly sent to Los Angeles a chalk drawing titled Early Autumn also appears exhibiting at the Williston Academy. 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 this painting.

RSW's description of the painting that was later cut-down, "with buildings left out," absolutely matches the composition of this painting. A color image of this painting, given it is the cut-down version, will never be possible. Still, to reinforce the argument we made a side-by-side comparison of this painting and Down an August Road, below...

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 (shown over its original)

What we DIDN'T realized until we matched up and laid Early Autumn over In Early Autumn that it appears that a portion of the sky was also cropped. This could be to fit a standard frame size of the time but was are just speculating in that regard.