Quick Reference

Time Period:
Winter of 1945.

Southwick Studio, north window.

Oil on Canvas



27 X 30, Upright

Grand Central Art Galleries '45

Howard M. Hanna



"A painting that is practically duplicate of Beginning to Snow" RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Snow in the Air

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted in winter of 1945. A rather unusual history for a canvas. A painting that is practically duplicate of Beginning to Snow (which see). This latter canvas was bought in 1944 by Miss Emma Coombs and presented to Rev. William Cole. Needing such a painting for my approaching G.C.A.G. [Grand Central Art Galleries] show in New York, I got the permission from the owners of making a duplicate in design, subject etc. The duplicate I made in the studio, partially from the photograph of the original, but mostly from the model itself, outside my north window. It went to my G.C.A.G exhibition in N. Y. in April of 1945 but did not sell. The G.C.A.G. kept it for nearly three years, returning it to me in Nov. 1947. This Snow in the Air was reproduced in color in the article about me and my studio by Mr. Watson in 'American Artist' of October, 1946, and later was printed in color in the Grand Central Art Galleries beautiful catalogue of the 25th Anniversary Exhibition in the fall of 1947 "but was erroneously given the title of the first canvas namely Beginning to Snow. Thus there was quite a mix-up of titles over the affair. The two color reproductions (mentioned above) entitled Beginning to Snow are really of this canvas Snow in the Air. Sold to Howard M. Hanna, Cleveland, Ohio, in April, 1953."

Additional Notes

Cover of 1946 October issue of American Artist Magazine
The Cover of the 1946 October issue of
American Artist Magazine.. In the issue is an article by
Ernst W. Watson on Woodward. The featured painting
and only color image is Snow in the Air which is incor-
rectly cited as Beginning to Snow. It is a terrific article
with wonderful photos of the Southwick studio and
Woodward working on a chalk drawing. Also shown
are paintings, Down an August Road, When Sap Runs,
Geraniums and Glass, The Grace of Years and, A Sum-
mer Valley
.    Click the link above to open a new tab in
your browser to view the entire article. There you will
find links to all of the artwork mentioned, as well as,
links to the two Scrapbook pages on Southwick.

The Art Digest, May 1, 1945
by Margaret Breuning

"Snow in the Air is one of the coldest paintings that I have ever seen yet not a blue shadow on the canvas. Whittier's 'Snowbound' does not tell us as much about the devastating bleakness of a New England winter as this gray little canvas."

BELOW: Winter Day from Snow-Bound
by John Greenleaf Whittier

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face
The coming of the snow storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Occan on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air,
Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the st alls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows:
Heard the horse whinning for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn.
Impatient down the stanchcion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold's pole of birch,
The cock his crested helmet bent
and down his querulous challenge sent.

Snow in the Air
Snow in the Air
Beginning to Snow
Beginning to Snow

As Woodward said, he made Snow in the Air from photos of Beginning to Snow, as well as, use of the north window and the two a nearLy identical. However, side-by-side shows that Snow in the Air has a pink-ish hue speckling the image. This may merely be the process of converting the image of the painting to print for the magazine because that is the only picture we have of Snow in the Air. Through producing the annual calendar we have experienced this issue ourselves. The conversion is a tricky business. We see this with other paintings appearing in print... that the color is just a bit off or different.

A quick look into buyer Howard M. Hanna of Cleveland, OH, did not produce much. Well that is not entirely true... it produced a lot of information but nothing that answered any questions. There is a Howard Melville Hanna of Cleveland. A civil war hero and founder of energy company M.A. Hanna Co., who just happen to be a close friend and former classmate of J.P. Morgan, a graduate of Union College in Schenectady, New York, which would make sense to us because that could mean any number of people, Ada Moore, Josephine Everett, Minnie Eliot and even Woodward's father Orion or the Schermerhorn family of Schenectady could be the link between the two men. Unfortunately, Mr. Hanna passed in 1921. His son Howard M. Hanna Jr. died in 1945 and junior's son Howard M. Hanna the third died very young at 27 years old in 1936. None of the three men lived long enough to purchase the painting in 1953. Making matters worse, this is not the only industrious Hanna family with a Cleveland connection. There is also Howard W. Hanna and his son Junior and his son the third and the third's son Howard W. Hanna IV now at the helm of the family's massive real estate company.