A native of Lynn, Massachusetts, Charles H. Woodbury showed an aptitude for the arts at an early age and joined the Lynn Beach Painters when only sixteen. Although a junior member of the group in terms of age, Woodbury was in many ways its leader, having exhibited the first Lynn Beach painting at the Boston Art Club in 1882. He had already become the youngest elected member of the club when only seventeen, and Woodbury continued to have further success exhibiting and teaching throughout his career, even becoming a full National Academician in 1907.
More information about this painting...
Painted in 1887, Early Boston Studio depicts his 22 School Street workspace located in the heart of the city just around the corner from the Massachusetts State House. Before Woodbury, it is reported that William Merritt Chase once occupied the studio during his days in Boston, and while the building eventually became a casualty of a quickly expanding city, Woodbury’s painting perfectly captures the space that allowed him to further improve his talents and launch his professional career. Archival photographs of the building tell us that the room, with its arched windows, was on the top floor and had great northeast light, and the scene contains many items familiar to painters, including a large easel and packing crate, various sketches and reference materials pinned to the walls, and a spinning wheel and musical instrument – familiar props often found in his fellow Boston painters’ interior scenes. He even features a figure lounging on a sofa, reading or perhaps dozing, awaiting the next modeling session.
 See Appendix of Earth, Sea and Sky: Charles H. Woodbury, Artist and Teacher, 1864-1940 (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Museum, 1988), p. 103
Estate of the artist
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. W-83, 1978
To collection of Mr. and Mrs. Abbot W. Vose, December to present
(faintly visible verso of canvas after wax-lining; see images as it’s been relined) 219 (?) / Early Boston Studio
Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. W-83
The MIT Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts / Early Boston Studio / Oil on canvas, 1887 / Owned by Marcia L. and Abbot W. Vose / was exhibited in / Earth, Sea and Sky / Charles H. Woodbury – Artist & Teacher / 1864-1940/ The MIT Museum, 3/19/88 – 10/2/88 / The Portland Museum of Art 4/14/89 – 6/11/89
Note with list of venues in which the painting was shown during the MIT Museum’s Earth, Sea and Sky exhibition
Smith Kramer / Fine Art Services / Kansas City, Missouri / Eartth Sea and Sky / 0007 Early Boston Studio / Crate 6 Item 95
Charles H. Woodbury, N.A. (1864-1940), Marcia Oakes Woodbury (1865-1914), Vose Galleries, Boston, from May 13, 1980, Illustrated in black and white Earth, Sea and Sky: Charles H. Woodbury, Artist and Teacher, 1864-1940, The MIT Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 19, 1988 – October 2, 1988