Quick Reference

Time Period:

41 Union Street
Boston, MA

Chalk Drawing



22.5 X 29.5 (the size of chalks)


Mrs. Howard Robbins


Made as part of the "Boston Paintings" series.

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Unnamed: Old Boston, Chalk

Unnamed: Above the Winter Hills
This picture is of the oil painting In Old Boston made from this chalk

RSW's Diary Comments

A closer look of the area from which this was painted
The Oyster House sepia print

RSW's diary comments regarding In Old Boston

"Painted in 1931. A larger painting of the Old Oyster House in Boston on Union Street, made from the smaller 27 x 30 canvas which in its turn was made from the chalk drawing made on the spot in 1931, the week I had Florence Haeberle's house in West Newton. The smaller painting 'Oyster House' was sold by the Grand Central Art Galleries from their Founders' Show in...... while the original chalk was bought by Dean and Mrs. Howard Robbins of Heath, Mass (summer address).

RSW's diary comments regarding The Oyster House

"Painted in winter of 1931. Portrait of Boston's Old Oyster House on Union St. just off from Hanover Square. Made a chalk drawing from the street of this subject (bought by dear Mrs. Howard Robbins) and from this made two paintings, this 27 x 30 and a larger 36 x 42. This 27 x 30 went to one of the Grand Central Art Gallery Founders Shows and was chosen by lot by private owner but I do not know whom. These galleries will not 'tell,' much to my annoyance!"

Comments on the back of the The Oyster House sepia:

"This photograph is of a smaller painting (now sold) exactly like the larger one I now own (36 x 42) except that the present one I have for sale, has the baker leaning out of an upper window and one or two different figures on the street. All the rest is the same. Exquisite in color of old ochre and red brick and rich with old Boston atmosphere. The 36 x 42 is titled In Old Boston."

Additional Notes

The Oyster House differences
The Oyster House differences

RSW notes in the comments made on the back of the sepia print that In Old Boston and The Oyster House are different. We illustrate those differences in the the image to the right... no baker out third floor window or dog on sidewalk, the people by the entrance are different and the cars are different eliminating two other women.

With ALL of this being said... He does NOT say either the name of the chalk drawing sold to Mrs. Robbins, nor which of these two oil paintings most resemble the chalk drawing.

In May of 1930, RSW swapped homes with his cousin Florence Haeberle who was living in West Newton (MA) at the time with her husband and two children. Woodward was there to take part in the year long 300th anniversary of the founding of Boston, particularly the opening of the Art Exhibition at Horticultural Hall. He entered the painting New England Drama which won a Gold Medal honor from the jury.