“Painted in 1934. Painted from the road by the red brick school house of Stetson’s (formerly Leavitt place). Trees and buildings. Bought Oct. 1945, by Mr. and Mrs. Clifford A. Richmond, 37 Park St., Northampton, Mass.”
" ... Late Sugaring is marked with the rhythms of repeated maples, and the red sugar buckets hanging at each tree ... "
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"Among the paintings of note which will be on exhibition will be Late Sugaring by Robert Strong Woodward of Shelburne Falls who is known throughout the country for his paintings of rural New England. Late Sugaring shows the gathering of sap and is a typical New England scene, with majestic maples and the familiar red farm house. It is a painting that breathes the friendliness of the rural districts."
Comments in a notebook by RSW: March 18, 1935. Took to Shelburne Falls, to H. R. Ashworth, the photographer, one oil painting, namely Late Sugaring to be left a few days to be photographed. March 26, 1935. Above painting Late Sugaring returned to the studio. March 28, 1935. Placed above painting Late Sugaring in Weldon Hotel, Greenfield, replacing In Old Boston which had been at the Weldon since Nov. 1st and which is now brought back to the studio. ."
A personal remembrance, by mlp... It was I who drove RSW in his big Packard down Route 112 to the site of this row of tapped maple trees where he made the above painting, Late Sugaring. I think it took him about three days to do the en plein air work on this canvas. Several days later I was driving him down the same road to do errands in Shelburne Falls when, in passing the site of the above painting, he loudly exclaimed in a voice of absolute amazement and disgust something about "who has done THAT to MY maple tree." We learned later that one of the young men living on his own street in Upper Buckland, had been speeding and lost control of his car and smashed into one of the maples, badly skinning off huge portions of bark. The automobile was "totaled", the old tree could not recover from the injury and had to be taken down the following year, and the young man gradually recovered after a strong letter of reprimand. But RSW was NEVER to forgive him. Subsequently, a few years later, the entire row of maples, including the little red school house, were demolished to make way for the new construction of Route 112.
According to Roy B. Peebles, secretary of the local club, it is only through the generosity of Mr. Woodward that the exhibit includes any of his work this year. Mr. Woodward is at present conducting a one-man show in a Boston art gallery, and, in order to help out the local club ordered that one of his finest paintings, Late Sugaring, be sent to the local exhibit from the New York Galleries where it has been hanging.
Sold 2/19/96 for $5750 at auction in Northampton Mass.,
All of the maple trees are now gone and the little red schoolhouse seen at the far left was demolished in order to make way for a new road.