Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted 1932.

The Halifax House
Halifax, Vermont

Oil on Canvas



27 X 30

Salmagundi Club (NYC), 1932
Boston Art Club, (2nd prize) 1932
Providence (RI) Art Club, 1932
Pittsfield (MA) Art League, 1932
Corcoran (DC) Gallery, 1932
Grand Central Galleries (NYC),1932
The Gills Gallery (Springfield), 1932
Stoneleigh-Prospect Hill School, '33
Providence (RI) Art Club, 1933
Williston Academy, 1933
Northfield Seminary, 1933
Stockbridge (MA) Public Library, '33
Amherst Coll. Jones Library, '34
Syracuse (NY) MFA, 1934
Springville (UT) Art Association, '34
Concord (MA) Art Association, '34
Binghampton (NY) MFA, 1934
Deerfield Academy, 1935
Mt. Holyoke Coll. Dwight Hall, 1935
Vose Galleries (Boston), 1936
Springville (UT) Art Association, '37

Francis Meredyth Whitehouse



Awarded second prize, with bronze medal, the Boston Art Club Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 1932. Considered one of Woodward's "Editorial" paintings painted between 1929 and 1933, beginning with Country Piazza and ending with Contentment

Related Links

Boston Herald Editorial Feb. 1932 with related response from a reader dated Feb. 10th.

The New England Farm, Sepia
When you hover over image, you can enlarge
the image simply by clicking on it.
New England Heritage, Sepia

Lois Pratt Sanborn is wife of Rockport, Maine artist Earl Edward Sanborn known for his beautifully painted and luminous glass work. Specializing in a 13th century technique of staining glass, he is best known for the "Te Deum" windows at the Washington Nation Cathedral in DC, as well as that of, the Boston College Library and the Trinity College Chapel in Hartford, CT.

Featured Artwork: New England Heritage: The Halifax House

RSW's Diary Comments

The New England Farm, Sepia
When you hover over image, you can enlarge
the image simply by clicking on it.
New England Heritage, Sepia

"Painted about 1930. The first painting I made of the old Halifax (Vt.) house, soon after I discovered it in the late summer of 1930, a house I painted many times after, from many angles. Exhibited quite largely, at the Boston Art Club Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 1932, being given second prize, with bronze medal. Purchased 1936 or 7 by Mr. Howard R. and Mrs. Helen Patch of 4 Barrett place, Northampton, Mass. for $400, May, 1936."

From Woodward notes:

"good reproduction of N. E. Heritage, BAC prize picture in the Post... was awarded second prize at the Boston Art Club Exhibit Contemporary American Oils. This artist has long been reckoned among American painters of original merit."


RSW did not begin to compile his paintings journal until the early 1940s. He did much of it from memory and on occasion, made mistakes. In the case of New England Heritage he mixed up his friends, the Patch's with his old bookplate client, Francis Meredyth Whitehouse. We have two sources comfirming this: (1) from his own 1932 personal diary, RSW, enters a reference to a meeting with John Spaulding, Henry Clover Pepper and Whitehouse regarding Boston Art Club business and notes that Whitehouse purchased the prize winning painting. The second (2) source is from Mrs. Patch's own recollection given to the Deerfield Academy's American Studies Group for their 1970 Catalogue and memorial exhibition. The Patch painting, she says, is titled American Heritage and the subject is actually related more to Dooryard Elm (the Burns & Allen painting) then this painting. We are still trying to locate American Heritage.

Additional Notes

New Information From RSW's Personal Dairy:

Besides learning that Whitehouse was the buyer of New England Heritage, we learn RSW met with Whitehouse, Pepper and Spaulding to discuss Boston Art Club business. We have never been quite sure about his status at the club, such as, what year he was permitted membership. We do know Henry Covey Pepper was the controversial member of the Boston AC who chaired the exhibition committee that introduced the non-traditional artist exhbit in 1918 that launched RSW's professional career. He was also well known as an artist with a great interest in the Far East, particularly Japanese art. An attribute shared by Woodward! Pepper would evenually move to Japan and live there for many years before returning to New England. Woodward had plans to visit Japan in 1906 but it never happened because his accident occurred just weeks before he was to leave.

What is more surprising is Whitehouse's involvement. We know that RSW made a bookplate for his Crowhurst Estate on the Cape (plate etched by John Hudson Elwell). Whitehouse was semi-retired at this time, but was one of Chicago's finest architects. He designed the pavillion for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair art exhibition which would be under construction in 1932, the time of their meeting. Woodward's A CountryPiazza would be invited to the fair by its curator, Robert Harshe, personally. Is this something, we ask ourselves? Mere coincidence or another piece to the puzzle...

Letter to the Editor of the Springfield Republican,
March 1, 1932 about New England Heritage

Boston Sunday Post, February 7, 1932:

"... Beside it hangs New England Heritage by Robert Strong Woodward, a sympathetic presentation of an old abandoned house, the sunshine mellowing its weather beaten red into cheerfulness, a nearby tree lowering graceful protective branches in pleasing pattern to screen its ruined roof; realism and poetry combined in genuine artistry. This, by a Massachusetts painter, has been awarded second prize."

"Art Chat" by Anna W. Olmsted, Director of Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts:

" ... What warm and delectable color in the weathered red barns, as in New England Heritage (another prize winner)...."

North Adams Transcript, Sept. 9, 1933

"Among his paintings is New England Heritage showing a dilapidated red-painted ell with clinging clapboards and broken windows."

Woodward did not like any reference to his handicap. Left Column is a clipping from an editorial published in the Boston Herald sometime before Feb. 10th, 1932. After reading the editorial, RSW made a note to a friend, "This was a lot of mush and sob stuff which I hate. Mother and Father, however, were very much excited."

Click Here for a Provenance on the Halifax house.

We wish to thank the current owners for extending us the courtesy and access to this painting for the above image. May 2013