Quick Reference

Time Period:
Painted 1937.

In the "cleaning room"
Buckland Southwick Studio

Oil on Canvas


Window Picture

25 x 30, Upright


Mrs. Arline Wales



"One of my early window pictures..." RSW

Related Links

Featured Artwork: Winter Window

RSW's Diary Comments

"Painted 1937. One of my early window pictures, a section of the studio back room, windows looking out to the outside of the north window (jutting out to the right) and the studio apple tree laden with snow. Purple bottle and blue green Mexican glasses, 2 or 3 small non-blossomed geraniums in small pots, a tin pan full of apples and a letter carelessly thrown down on the broad rough wooden shelf. Emmet Naylor used this painting on one of his Christmas cards. Bought by Mrs. Arline Wales of Northport, Maine."

The "messy room" window today. As you can
see it was altered when Dr. Mark coverted the
space for his office. Instead of 3 rows of pane
glass there is now only two.

Comments on the back of a sepia print:

"From the messy back room."

Notes from the Editors:

The "messy back room" is the portion of the adjacent carriage house retro-fitted to connect to the old blacksmith shop is what Woodward is refering to here.Woodward used it as a cleaning supply and storage area. Later, when Dr. Mark converted the carraige house to run his country doctor's office, which became the area of the office where patient recodrs were kept, as well as, a sink and other amenities that served as a small lab. The window is right above where the sink now rest. The corner where the icicles hang is the studio and that window is the north window Woodward had custom made to bring in the natural, even light of the north.

Additional Notes

A Christmas card printed by Emmett Naylor
A Christmas card printed by Emmett
using Winter Window as its cover image.

This is not one of Woodward's early Window Paintings, though he may have felt that way because he began painting them with more frequency in the 1940s up to 1952 when he painted his last.

His first Window Painting was painted in the early 1920's from his studio at the Hiram Woodward Place. Well before Hiram, Woodward sketched in pencil the window of his bedroom in Boston as a sumation to end a letter to his close friend Helen Ives Schermerhorn. Technically his first known artwork of a window. Later, as a remarkably prophetic work of art, he made Helen a bookplate (approxiamately between 1908 and 1915) that contains many of the elements he would use 25 to 30 years later in these wonderful paintings. The benchmark of what these paintings would become.

The first known pure window painting is The Window: A Still Life and Winter Scene. An immediate success, it was purchased from Woodward's 1926 Ronald Lyman Exhibiton by famed art collector John Spaulding and is now a part of the Spaulding Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

What is most apt about this painting is its name. Woodward is literally spelling it out. For a number of years we have questioned ourselves whether the window paintings are technically "Still Lifes." Still lifes can contain a window and still be a Still Life. Often the source of light is the very window shown. But Woodward is combining the animated, stillness of real life with the inanimate, both holding equal importance. This marriage of opposites is actually a very significant theme throughout his work. It shows itself in his subject matter, compositions and perspective.

When looking at a window painting, you cannot look at the window and its stll life arrangement without being compelled to look out the window itself and not loose sight that life prevails and goes on. Woodward takes great pleasure in being quite literal but in a very poetic way, another marriage of opposites.

To the right: Is Winter Window on a Christmas card sent out by Woodward's friend lawyer Emmett Naylor who had a home in Cummington, MA.


Icilces hanging from the studio's North Window
Icilces hanging from the studio's North Window
A closer look at the glass and letters on the sill.
A closer look at the glass and letters on the sill.
Woodward's signature and the bowl of apples.
Woodward's signature and the bowl of apples.
A look at the name on the back of the stretche
A look at the name on the back of the stretcher