Rather than focus on technique in his lessons, Charles Woodbury’s teaching philosophy emphasized expression and careful observation of one’s subject: “The actual manipulation of the brush is a skillful matter, and yet it requires more intelligence than manual dexterity. Art is psychology, not science, and there must be one unknown factor, the personal equation. You must know what you see, why you see, and what is worth seeing.”
 Woodbury, Charles H. Painting and the Personal Equation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919, p. 95.
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These qualities are evident in the subtle coloring and dramatic perspective he used in rendering Evening. According to an inscription on the stretcher, the painting may have been owned by Elwyn G. Gowen, an artist who was a student of and later assisted Woodbury in his classes in the 1930s. Evening clearly relates to two other known examples by Woodbury, currently in private collections: a prizewinning watercolor of the same title exhibited several times by the artist in the early 1910s and which was later featured in Vose Galleries’ 1978 show of his work; and a large 1909 oil called The Last Drift reproduced in the MIT Museum’s 1988 exhibition catalogue, Earth, Sea & Sky: Charles H. Woodbury. In all three examples, Woodbury employed a visually pleasing palette of warm reds against cooler blues, a high horizon line and the image of a lone tree at the far right side of the scene.
(possibly) Collection of Elwyn G. Gowen
Eventually to Van Ward Gallery, Ogunquit, Maine
To private collection, Beverly Hills, Florida, ca. 2006 to present
(top stretcher in black pencil) Property of / Elwyn G. Gowen / Purchased from Kingsbury Estate 1944