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1922 J.H. Miller Gallies Co., Inc. Exhibition Catalog

January 9, 1925

Mrs. George W. V. Smith

My dear Mrs. Smith:

We are writing to you about our mutual friend, Robert Strong Woodward, who is in desperate need of immediate practical help. Indeed he has been for so long in such need that it is remarkable that he is still alive.

Knowing his extreme sensitiveness, his deep appreciation of what has been done for him in the past and that he will would never make this appeal himself, we have decided after much thought to make it urgently to you on his behalf. In order to paint and realize his fullest talent he must be relieved from the constant devastating dread of being unable to pay his bare living expenses. We think he must have respite for at least two years, to enable him to produce and get canvases before the public and in salesrooms.

Our reasons are:

1. He has proven his ability as a painter by the most unusual recognition he has had in the short six years in which he has been painting.

2. He is done this in spite of his extreme physical handicap, and a succession of misfortunes which would've killed any but a great spirit. And yet his general physical condition is better today than for some time, and his confidence is unimpaired.

3. Just two years ago when preparing for a one-man show in New York his studio burned to the ground, and with it some twenty-five canvases, his materials, practically all his stock in trade, as well as most of his cherished personal possessions. Thus were wiped out all his saleable pictures, and his almost realized hopes of immediately becoming self-supporting. At that time his friends generously sent money which was used in making a new workshop, renewing supplies, and for his living expenses during the difficult time following the disaster. His loss was remedied, but he had nothing left over upon which to go ahead.

4. Since that time, in spite of always a valiant effort, he has been able to meet only about one half of his normal expenses. There have been unusual expenses of his illnesses, largely brought on by the constant worry incident to his always precarious financial position.

5. He is almost literally sick to death from the humiliation of having to accept gifts of money from his many kind friends. These gifts, indeed, have kept his body and soul together, but are uncertain, and inadequate to relieve his constant concern. He's never had one year free from this concern. He is now in great need, for he actually has not money to pay for food, salaries, or paint and canvases for more than a few weeks.

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