Skip to main content

Stanley Woodward papers, 1875-1970, (bulk 1905-1970)

Stanley Woodward papers, 1875-1970, (bulk 1905-1970)

Woodward, Stanley Wingate, 1890-1970

Painter, Teacher, Etcher, Illustrator

Collection Information

Size: 6.6 linear ft.

Summary: Found within the papers are biographical materials, artworks, family and personal correspondence, seventeen diaries, notes, notebooks and other writings, business records, a scrapbook and printed material including exhibition announcements and catalogs; and photographs of Woodward, members of his family, friends, and his studio. Files containing letters, clippings, and photographs concern actresses including Janis Carter, Linda Darnell, Bette Davis, and Eleanor Powell. Writings include drafts of Woodward's book Adventure in Marine Painting.

Biographical material includes miscellaneous accounts of Woodward's life, cards and certificates of membership in various organizations including the Massachusetts Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Salmagundi Club, and the Academic Artist Association, military records of his service in both World Wars, and scattered artwork. A file concerning Woodward's portrait of Abraham Lincoln contains letters primarily discussing a reproduction of the portrait in The Boston Globe and the painting's eventual sale, in addition to notes, clippings, an ink drawing, and a photographic negative of the drawing.

Correspondence is between various family members, but also includes letters to Woodward from colleagues including Harrison Cady, Eleanor Parke Custis, Ralph Fabri, Chauncey F. Ryder, and Howard E. Smith. There are also scattered letters from other artists including Gifford Beal, Mary Butler, Gordon Grant, Norman Kent, Hobart Nichols, Thornton Oakley, Edmund Tarbell, and Anthony Thieme. Correspondence primarily concern his painting career, and includes lists of art work and financial material.

Artwork consists of a sketchbook and three sketches.

Files concerning actresses reflect Woodward's life-long friendship with former teenaged neighbor Bette Davis, who later introduced Woodward and his art work to her show business friends. The files contain letters, clippings, and photographs of actresses Janis Carter, Linda Darnell, Bette Davis, Laraine Day, Madaline Lee, Ida Lupino, Eleanor Powell, and Alexis Smith.

Seventeen diaries contain relatively detailed daily entries describing Woodward's art-related activities, experiences during World War II, and various travels, including a trip to Los Angeles to be a house guest of Bette Davis and visit her on the set of the motion picture Elizabeth and Essex. The 1905 diary contains photographs of Woodward's school friends.

Notes, notebooks, and writings include lists of art works, exhibition guest books, and miscellaneous writings by Woodward including drafts of his book Adventure in Marine Painting.

Business records include an auction catalog, account books for the sale of Woodward's book and art work, and miscellaneous receipts. Records of art classes taught by Woodward include lists of participants, accounts of fees paid, and printed advertisements.

A scrapbook containing clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs illustrates Woodward's early interests and art-related activities.

Additional printed material consists of clippings, copies of the U. S. Air Corps Magazine The Rip Chord for which Woodward did the cover illustrations, prospectuses with annotations of titles and prices of art work, exhibition announcements and catalogs, reproductions of art work, a booklet, and brochures for books and for art schools. Miscellaneous printed material includes reproductions of a photograph of Woodward's father, Frank E. Woodward, and a program for an event honoring Dr. T. Tertius Noble.

Photographs are of Woodward, family members, friends connected with the U. S. Army Air Force including Jack Dempsey, Woodward's studio, and art work. Three albums contain photographs of art classes and Woodward painting outdoors at various locations including Laguna Beach and Palm Springs, California, St. Augustine, Florida, and Rockport, Massachusetts. A third album also contains photographs of notable friends including Janis Carter, Jeanne Craine, Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, and Gary Merrill.

Biographical/Historical Note

Painter, marine painter, etcher, illustrator, teacher, writer; Massachusetts.


Donated 1973 by Patricia Woodward Smith, Woodward's daughter, and Mrs. Stanley Woodward, Woodward's wife.

A Finding Aid to the Stanley Woodward Papers,
bulk 1905-1970
, in the Archives of American Art
Biographical Note
Stanley Wingate Woodward was born on December 11, 1890, in Malden, Massachusetts, son of Alice E. (Colesworthy) and Frank E. Woodward. He was one of eight children and a twin of Sidney, who later became an art dealer and critic.
In 1909, Woodward graduated from Malden High School and the family moved to Wellesley Hills. He studied at the Eric Pape School of Art, the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He left school to serve in France as a Corporal in the Field Artillery 28th Division during World War I. After the war, he settled in Ogunquit, Maine, and became a free lance illustrator for
and the
Christian Science Monitor
, where his brother Sidney was art editor.
In 1925, he held his first solo show of marine oils at Casson Galleries, Boston, where his twin brother Sidney was manager. He was encouraged to continue painting the ocean after the entire exhibition sold out.
Woodward married Ruth Brainerd in 1926 and they settled in Newton, Massachusetts, where they were neighbors to a young Bette Davis, who had recently graduated from high school. Woodward maintained contact with the actress for the rest of his life, and through Ms. Davis, he befriended other show business personalities.
During the 1930s, Woodward taught painting at the Woodward Outdoor Painting School of Rockport, Massachusetts, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and at the Laguna Beach School in California. In 1937, he established his residence and studio in Rockport, Massachusetts.
Woodward served as an Air Corps captain and director of camouflage training at McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington, during World War II. In 1947, he published a book on painting techniques entitled
Adventure in Marine Painting
. He was also the author of
Marine Paintings in Oil and Water Color
Woodward was a member of the Chicago Society of Etchers, the Concord Art Association, the Print Makers Society of California, the Boston Society of Water Color Painters, Allied Artists of America, the Guild of Boston Artists, the North Shore Art Association, the American Water Color Society, the Grand Central Galleries Association, and the Rockport Art Association. His work is in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Bowdoin College, Amherst College, Lehigh University, and the Prudential Life Insurance Collection.
Stanley Wingate Woodward died on March 21, 1970 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
The collection is arranged into 10 series. Each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1918-1968 (Boxes 1, 8; 15 folders)
Series 2: Artwork, circa 1920s (Boxes 1; 2 folders)
Series 3: Correspondence, 1910-1969 (Boxes 1-3; 2.9 linear feet)
Series 4: Files Concerning Actresses, 1931-1970 (Boxes 4, 8; 0.75 linear feet)
Series 5: Diaries, 1905-1969 (Boxes 4-5; 10 folders)
Series 6: Notes, Notebooks, and Writings, 1915-1969 (Boxes 5, 8; 21 folders)
Series 7: Business Records, 1924-1969 (Boxes 5-6; 15 folders)
Series 8: Scrapbook, 1875-1919 (Box 6; 1 folder)
Series 9: Printed Material, 1916-1970 (Boxes 6-7; 0.75 linear feet)
Series 10: Photographs, 1920-1969 (Boxes 7-8, OV 9; 11 folders)
Donated 1973 by Patricia Woodward Smith, Woodward's daughter, and Mrs. Stanley Woodward, Woodward's wife.
Processing Information
The Stanley Woodward papers were processed in November 2007 by Jean Fitzgerald.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

Stanley Woodward papers, 1875-1970, (bulk 1905-1970). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

  • No downloads available