Autumn, New England, Tonalist Joseph H. Greenwood


Oil on canvas (unlined) measures 28″ x 42″ unframed

Framed (newer) measures 35″x 49″

Signed lower left, very good condition (slight stretcher impressions)

Joseph H. Greenwood, a realist landscape painter of extremely independent mind and self-sufficiency, primarily painted the lake and hill country around his home in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was a tough individualist, not a follower nor a joiner. He steadfastly followed his own vision and artistic beliefs despite extensive time and difficulty in arriving at his goals.

He was born in 1857 in Massachusetts, in the town of Spencer. He was always interested in art. Living in a family with no interest in art, he left them as a teenager to go to work and be able to paint in the evenings and on weekends. He was so dedicated to his art, that the owners of a mill where he worked, took the extremely unusual and commendable step of helping him financially to study painting in Boston. He went back to the mill when he ran out of money.

After a slow start in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he moved, Greenwood began to acquire students, supporting himself through teaching — the most common way artists earn money if their paintings aren’t selling. Upon arrival in Worcester, he had initially done more factory work. After teaching for twenty years, and, at the same time, dedicated to his painting encouraged by his friends and artist R. Swain Gifford, in particular — he was finally able to make a living from his art.

Joseph H. Greenwood was seventy when he died in Worcester in 1927. He was a member of the Bohemian Club and Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. His paintings may be seen in the Worcester Art Museum.

Source: Michael David Zellman, “300 Hundred Years of American Art”