Quick Reference

Time Period:
1925 - '26

Old covered bridge
Charlemont, Mass.

Oil on Canvas


Brooks, Ponds, Rivers, Mountains

30 X 36


Rev. and Mrs. Matthews



This is 1 of 4 pieces related to the Charlemont Bridge. Three of the 4 paintings were made AFTER the 1938 hurricane that destroyed the bridge and made from a 25 x 30 version of this painting. However, the 25 x 30 painting was eventually destroyed because RSW was never fully satisfied with it. Because it was destroyed, and never named there is no page for it on this website.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Through Summer Hills (Oil)

Through Summer Hills (Oil)
The above image is of Through Summer Hills, Chalk. The original sepia of this painting can be seen below.

RSW's Diary Comments

Through October Hills Sepia
Through Summer Hills Sepia

"Painted prior to 1939. The covered bridge at Charlemont, Mass. Painted in the Buckland studio from older 25 x 30 made several years previously and the 25 x 30 destroyed. Also made a chalk drawing of the same subject which is owned by Rev. and Mrs. Matthews of Pelham Manor, N. Y. (see Through Summer Hills (Chalk)."

Comments on the back of a sepia print:

"Varied blues and summer greens predominate. Red buildings at left. Covered bridge dark gray-brown. Water is opalescent with blues, greens, and violets, very iridescent and wet looking! Sky, broken white clouds with open spots of pale blue. River banks run down to warm dull gold."

Additional Notes

Boston Globe Article
The 1920's version of this painting was also
mentioned in this Springfield Union article.

Springfield Daily Republican, Springfield, MA., Sat. April 28, 1928

"A picturesque bridge-and-stream composition,"

Left: Springfield Union, 1926

"'Through Summer Hills,' is a landscape of rich, harmonious colors."

Littlecote Article
Article regarding the Littlecote Gallery Exhibition,
Utica, NY, 1929, mentions the original painting.

A painting named "Through Summer Hills" was listed as being shown at 3 exhibitions in the 1920s. It is not the 25 x 30 painting that sat in the studio for almost a decade that Woodward would later make the post--hurricane bridge paintings. This painting is a 36 x 42 and exhibited at 3 important exhibitions between 1926 and 1929.

The 25 x 30 painting that Woodward created the later paintings and chalk was "destroyed" and subsequently does not have a name or is included in our Complete Works List. According to Mark Purinton's first hand account the painting was, "was stored out in the frame room with countless other unfinished paintings as well as those with a purple "D" painted on the backs. " (We recommend you read that essay)

The 1920s painting was mentioned in three articles related to the exhibitions it appeared. To the right, is the article connected with the Littlecote Gallery Exhibition and above are two quotes believed to be related to the 1928 exhibition at J.H. Miller Galleries and 1926 Lyman Residence Exhibit respectively.

A photo of the old covered bridge before it was
destroyed in the hurricane and flood of 1938.

The bridge was destroyed by the hurricane of 1938, prompting RSW to create the new paintings and chalk from the unsatisfactory mid-1920s 25 x 30 version of the scene. One question does remain... we found, among his personal items, an old photograph of the bridge that nearly matches the vantage point and perspective of these bridge paintings. We do not know the age of the photograph and there is nothing written on its back but what, if any, role did it play in RSW's process of creating these paintings? (See image below)

Charlemont Bridge
From a collection of old photographs in
RSW's personal items this picture of the Charlmont
Bridge, before it was destroyed by the 1938 hurricane,
closely resembles the perspective of the artwork.

Photograph to the right:

On digitalizing all of RSW's pictures that he kept with his personal items. We came across a number of photos that closely resemble paintings of a similar subject. It has raised questions as to if Woodward used photographs as a tool in creating some paintings. For this particular painting he claims to have made it from an earlier painting which was then destroyed. While probably true, we wonder if the earlier painting was when he photographed his vantage point.