"Painted 1938-9. The very first years I was painting I made a winter canvas from inside the house of Charles Wilder's farm on Buckland Hill. For some reason I can not recall, I gave this painting to the carpenter, Ralph Wilder who now owns it. In the winter of 1939 he brought it to the studio and from it I painted a very brilliant 25 x 30 winter canvas (although the original was 30 x 40). Majestic Putts Hill rises in the background above a nearby group of gray and red ended barns and a red silo, around the right of which a road drops off into the valley through apple trees, a two horse sled, opposite the barn end, climbing up the hill. Bought the year I painted it by Mr. and Mrs. P.H.B. Frelinghuysen of Manchester, Vt. and Morristown, N.J. at a time when they were acquiring a number of my chalks and my canvases."
This piece was recently (Oct. 2013) put to auction by Bonham's New York Gallery, where they put an estimated value of $3,000 to $5,000.
The oil painting Winter Farms was made looking out the windows of the home of Charles Wilder.
The date at the bottom of the painting appears to be 1919. This large 30 x 40 oil apparently was one of the few which survived both the
Redgate fire and the Hiram Woodward studio fire because
it was brought to the Southwick studio in the late 1930's and was stored in
the Woodward studio storeroom for a number of years.
In the early 1930's he presented this painting to the lead carpenter, Ralph Wilder, who was restoring the Southwick property, apparently in payment for work the carpenter was doing for him, and also because the painting was made of Ralph's old home farm where he grew up on Charlemont Road. In 1938 the Woodward diary reports that he asked Ralph to return the painting so that he could copy it. The copy, titled A Winter Day, was a 25 x 30, much smaller than the original 30 x 40. The original was then returned to Ralph and was eventually handed down to Ralph's son Herbert and ended up in Indiana. It's current whereabouts since the death of Herbert is uncertain.
The 25 x 30 copy, immediately after having been painted, was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. PHB Frelinghuysen who also owned several other Woodward oils and chalk drawings. It remained in the Frelinghuysen family for many years and eventually was sold at auction by NYC Bonhams Auctions in December of 2013.
As of November 2013, we know that Mr. F. B. Frelinghuysen had purchased 9 other Woodward paintings and 2 chalks, they are as follows: