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Letter: ‘New England Soul’

I just saw the special exhibit at Memorial Museum in Old Deerfield. What a treat! This rare exhibit features 22 paintings by the Buckland artist, Robert Strong Woodward. This local artist (1885-1957) is famous for his gorgeous rural oil landscape and chalk drawings of Franklin County, the Berkshires and other regional New England rural scenes. His unique vision and style captured what he referred to as his “New England Soul.” I whole-heartedly agree.

What is even more remarkable is that Woodward was a paraplegic due to a hunting accident when he was 21. Though he was paralyzed and relied on a wheelchair, he had the perseverance to get himself out to vistas, farms, meadows, streams, etc., in all four seasons so that he could paint what he wanted to. To do so he utilized horse and buggy, sleigh and even painted from the back seat of his Packard.



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