"Painted prior to 1930. A favorite painting of Herbert Keach's sugar house on a steep hillside. Bought from the old studio around 1931 or 1932 by my old Peoria school friend, Bess Oakford Hunter. Hanging in their home. Mr. and Mrs. Jay T. Hunter, 304 Parkside Drive, Peoria, Illinois."
"The bright clean color of the pails and snow and trees in the crisp cool air...... the trailing cloud of blue steam that makes such a lovely spot of color in the grove that climbs high up the hillside."
This painting exhibited at two of Woodward's biggest shows of the late 1920's and mentioned in both of the newspaper clippings below. It was later purchased by RSW's childhood friend and classmate at the Bradley Polytechnical Insitute, Bess Oakford Hunter. Below we have included a letter written by RSW in 1942 to her regarding the painting, old classmates and Bess' son well-being away serving in the military during WWII.
See also, this letter written by RSW to friend/ former classmate, Bess Oakford Hunter in 1942 (left).
If you have trouble reading RSW's handwriting and would like to read a typed transcript of the letter please Click Here
We wish to thank the current owner for contacting us and graciously providing us the (above) image of the painting, as well as the close up image of RSW's signature (right) from the lower left portion of the painting.
In January 2017 a recently discovered painting named Maple Sugaring is similar to but different, in both size and aspect ratio, from, Steaming Sugar House,. It is named and signed, however, the signature is lacking RSW's trademark red "S". It is also different in brush style which is finer and not impasto like Steaming Sugar House, (see above signature by RSW) suggesting it was painted later than this piece.