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There are a number of interesting details about this piece; first its size (23 x 23) is unlike any other known Woodward; we still do not have a confirmed name, and on the back of the stretcher is a charcoal sketch of what we believe is an early draft of the painting Through the May Hills!

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Featured Artwork: Unnamed: Across the Apple Valley

Important Addendum

This painting was first known of in 1997 when it came up for auction in New Hampshire. It was listed in the New Hampshire Auction's program as, "Across the Valley." There is no other record of the name's orgin. It is not listed in RSW's Painting Diary, nor does it appear in any exhibition list and it is not written anywhere on the painting's stretcher. In the early years of the website it was the practice of the site to list such paintings in both the Unnamed Gallery as well as in the Alphabetic Gallery under it's given name. This is no longer the site's policy for two reasons; (1) it causes more confusion and at times conflicts with other similarly named paintings and (2) it makes RSW's catalogue appear larger than it is. So we have adjusted the catalogue to reflect this painting's truth, it is Unnamed and we have removed it from the Alphabetic Gallery.

This painting does in fact conflict with another painting with the same name. However, this other painting is listed in the painting diaries and has a well documented provenance. In our years of experience, and for inexplicable reasons (given this website as a valid resource), auction houses continue to either disregard RSW's given name and generically name it in their catalogues or fail to research the painting thoroughly. In fact, we have more examples of these auction houses labeling paintings incorrectly than we do otherwise. In 1997, the only comprehensive Woodward catalogue available to auction houses was the one compiled by the Deerfield Academy's American Study Group in 1970 where "Across the Valley" is listed. It would be fair to say the New Hampshire Auctions took the name from this source. While it was not uncommon for RSW to re-use a name, rarely was it done when the two paintings could potentially cross paths. (see: Tale of Two Winters for more)

Our new policy at the website is to list all truly unnamed paintings as such, along with an assigned sub-name distinguishing it either, by a painting it has a relation to (it was not uncommon for RSW to paint multiple versions of a particular subject and naming the original and not the others) or generally by subject matter. This is strictly for organizational purposes. Past practice was to use number assignments but the practice proved to make it difficult to identifying unique paintings by a number, as well as, when a name was discovered or resolved left holes and oversights in structuring files. This new practice does not suggest, in any way, the website has taken upon itself the right to name paintings. The titles are merely "sub-titles." We do however, permit and even encourage, current owners to name their unnamed paintings carrying on a tradition Woodward himself permitted. Often, a painting is signed and unnamed because it was purchased directly from the Woodward's studio which also doubled as a showroom. Equally frequent is that many of the named paintings were named simply for the purpose of identifying it in exhibition programs. In this case, RSW would write, in pencil, the name on the back of the stretcher for identification purposes because he rarely went to exhibits his paintings were displayed.

Should any owner of an unnamed painting wish to officially name their paintings, they need only contact us with their expressed wishes and we will remove the painting from the Unnamed Gallery and place it in the appropiate Alphabetical Gallery and note the change in our catalogue records. If an owner wishes for assistance in naming their painting in a manner traditional to RSW's naming style, we are more than happy to offer a number of suggestions to choose from. THANK YOU!

Additional Notes

Picture of this painting from 1997

This painting has come up for auction twice (1997 & 2018) and in both instances no name was given. It could be that it is because it is not written on the back stretcher. In any event, we do have a piece of evidence suggesting its name is Across the Valley but have`` been unable to confirm that with another source, so we also have this unnamed page and a regular named page for the artwork as well.

This early painting of RSW was auctioned at the New Hampshire Auctions in Manchester, New Hampshire on March 1, 1997. The estimated price was $800 to $1200. It again was up for auction at Skinner Auction in Boston, MA in May of 2018 and sold at a hammer price of $4,000.

The most-recent auction afforded us the opportunity to see the back of the stretcher which revealed another drawing on its back. We believe this is a preliminary sketch of Through the Hills in May. We also believe that this painting may have been painted from the same road, from a higher position, and looking in a different direction. If this is the case then its time period is the same as.....
Through the Hills in May. SEE BELOW

Back stretcher with sketch
Back stretcher with sketch