Quick Reference

Time Period:
Early-to-mid 1930s

Main Street
Old Deerfield, MA

Wax Crayon


House, Rocks & Stones






There is also an oil painting AND a chalk drawing of this crayon with the same name, "From Old Deerfield." It is unknown if the chalk is the same scene, but the the oil was made from this artwork.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: The Old Gray House, Deerfield, Crayon


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RSW's Diary Comments

An image of a Polaroid taken of From Old Deerfield
An image of a Polaroid taken of From Old Deerfield.

Comments from the oil painting From Old Deerfield

"Painted in 1939. Painted in studio from an earlier canvas (1932) of the same subject which was never satisfactory and which I destroyed. The old Abercrombie House of Old Deerfield."

Comments on the back of the From Old Deerfield sepia print:

"One of the old stark gray houses in Old Deerfield, sunlit front, red chimneys, blue and white sky, rose, ochre, tan foreground with no or little green. Beautifully painted green, gray, sunlit embankment stone wall."

From Dr. Mark's original artwork page for From Old Deerfield:

"The first image of this old house made by Woodward was a waxed crayon drawing which he titled The Old Gray House, Deerfield. Many years later Woodward, in the Southwick Studio, retrieved this from the store room and made the above oil painting from it. The finishing touches, however were done in plain air sitting in the rear of the Packard Phaeton on site in Old Deerfield."

Additional Notes

It was not until we did a deep dive into the exhibition list that we learned this chalk drawing existed. This appeared to be an important subject to Woodward. Not only did he make a wax crayon of the scene in the early-to-mid 1930's. According to Dr. Mark's first hand account says Woodward retrieved it from his storage space, started the painting in his Southwick Studio, and did the finishing touches in plain air at the scene.

It is not unreasonable to think this chalk is the same scene but there is the slight chance it is not. Let's also note where the oil and chalk paintings exhibited and for how long... These are not ordinary, run of the mill, galleries and this neither is this scene to Woodward. [ See From Old Deerfield for more. ]

The Aste House, Crayon
The Aste House, Crayon

The crayon, The Old Gray House, Deerfield's whereabouts is unknown. We only have a couple surviving crayons. The Aste House to the left is one. The other is The Mary Lyon Church. Both are distinctly historic Upper St. properties which is why we suggest the crayon may have been closer to the mid-1930's when Woodward moved to Upper Street (Mar. 1935). Prior to that date, it is rare to find any Upper Street paintings. Perhaps Woodward began experimenting with wax crayon before he moved to Southwick and continued briefly afterwards.

Just a quick note: some newspapers often referred to pastels (Woodward called chalks) as crayons confusing the matter even more but here Dr. Mark is very specific to point out it was wax, not pastel.

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