Robert Strong Woodward letters and papers, 1890-1985

Woodward, Robert Strong, b. 1885 d. 1957
Painter, Landscape painter
Active in Boston, Mass.

Collection size: 1.2 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Papers relating to the personal life and career of Robert Strong Woodward, and to the vogue for New England painting in the first half of the twentieth century, and includes letters, a ledger, writings, works of art, photographs, and printed material.

Included are numerous letters, 1902-1953, to longtime friends Helen and Anna D. Schermerhorn, including letters to Helen describing assemblage artist Joseph Cornell's early family life, Woodward's admiration of Cornell and a fragment of a letter to Cornell. The ledger lists Woodward's work handled by dealers and works in transit, 1937-1947.

Writings, 1970 and 1985, by others about Woodward include a draft of a biography for a Deerfield Academy exhibition catalog, a biographical account for the Heath Historical Society, and manuscripts from a tribute on the centennial of Woodward's birth. Writings by Woodward include a poem titled, "Night Verses to the Little Shops." Included in the works of art by Woodward, 1898-1904 and undated, are childhood sketches of greeting cards for his mother, and a sketchbook. Photographs, 1898-1904, are of family, homes and buildings, works of art and exhibitions. Printed material includes exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1919-1985, and newspaper and magazine clippings, 1928-1985.

Biographical/Historical Note: Robert Strong Woodward (1885-1957) was a landscape and still-life painter from Boston, Mass. Prolific painter of still lifes, as well as landscapes and rural scenes of western Mass. and southern Vermont. At 21, a revolver accident left him paralyzed, and he was confined to a wheelchair. Painting, which had been his hobby, became his career. His only formal art training was at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he studied for less than a year. In 1919, he won the first Hallgarten prize for landscape at the National Academy of Design. He had regular exhibitions at Vose Galleries of Boston and at regional museums.

Donated 1986 by Florence Haeberle, Robert Woodward's cousin. She received Woodward's letters to Helen Schermerhorn, after Schermerhorn's death, from Helen's sister-in-law, Mrs. Henry Schermerhorn of Providence, Rhode Island.

How to Use this Collection

  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Also in the Archives

Related Materials

Also available at the Archives of American Art are the F. Earl Williams papers relating to Robert Strong Woodward, 1928-1985.