Quick Reference

Time Period:
Winter of 1938

Old covered bridge
Charlemont, Mass.

Chalk Drawing


Brooks, Ponds, Rivers, Mountains

22 x29


Rev. and Mrs. Matthews



This is 1 of 4 pieces related to the Charlemont Bridge which was destroyed in the hurricane and flood of 1938.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Through Summer Hills (Chalk)

RSW's Diary Comments

Referred to in the Through Summer Hills oil entry:

"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. "

Additional Notes

We believe this is the chalk drawing referred to in the painting diary. The Chalk now hangs at Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) Museum in Deerfield, MA.

As far as actual artwork, this is the only piece we have a picture of that is not a sepia print. We recently got our hands on Woodward's letter to friend Helen Schermerhorm detailing the damage and resulting conditions after the hurricane. We expect to update our Scrapbook painting story on Through Summer Hills and the Charlemont Bridge very soon.

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.