Have You Seen These Lost Works? The Search for Three Missing Woodvilles

Have you seen these lost works by Woodville?

Even though curator, Joy P. Heyrman, did extensive research to make sure every Richard Caton Woodville painting on record was on display for New Eyes on America: The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville, three remain “lost” and unaccounted for. Heyrman explains the last known whereabouts of these lost paintings:

When it was exhibited at the Walters Art Museum in 1967, the portrait of Mrs. William Fridge Murdoch by Richard Caton Woodville was owned by Mrs. John W. Jackson, (a descendant of the painting’s subject?). Painted in 1851, on one of the expatriate artist’s two visits back to his native Baltimore from Europe, it captures the contemplative mood of a handsome, middle-aged woman wearing a coat with a wide fur collar and a delicate lace headscarf. The portrait is in oil on canvas and measures 30” x 25”.

In correspondence with Mr. Cadwallader Woodville of Forest Hills, New York in 1952, Walters’ Curator Marvin C. Ross convinced the artist’s descendant to bring “the R.C. Woodville portrait and watercolor” to Baltimore to be photographed in the museum’s photo studio. The [photographs below] of those works are from negatives still on file at the Walters. Ross referred to “the portrait of Wm. Woodville V” in further letters. The painting and sketch were not included in the 1967 exhibition on Woodville, though the portrait was mentioned in the catalog, without dimensions, as unfinished, “a less complete example of Woodville’s late style” with a “badly crackled” surface.

The lost Woodville paintings as last photographed:

When it was exhibited at the Walters Art Museum in 1967, the portrait of Mrs. William Fridge Murdoch by Richard Caton Woodville was owned by Mrs. John W. Jackson, (a descendant of the painting’s subject?). Painted in 1851, on one of the expatriate artist’s two visits back to his native Baltimore from Europe, it captures the contemplative mood of a handsome, middle-aged woman wearing a coat with a wide fur collar and a delicate lace headscarf. The portrait is in oil on canvas and measures 30” x 25”.

Portrait of Mrs. William Fridge Murdoch. Oil on canvas, 30” x 25”. When it was exhibited at the Walters Art Museum in 1967, the Portrait of Mrs. William Fridge Murdoch by Richard Caton Woodville was owned by Mrs. John W. Jackson, (a descendant of the painting’s subject?). Painted in 1851, on one of the expatriate artist’s two visits back to his native Baltimore from Europe, it captures the contemplative mood of a handsome, middle-aged woman wearing a coat with a wide fur collar and a delicate lace headscarf.

One of three lost Woodville paintings.

Portrait of William Wooville V (?). Oil.

Lost unfinished Woodville watercolor

Head of a Man. Watercolor on paper.
An unfinished watercolor sketch in “Woodville’s late style”.

Have you seen these lost treasures lately? Contact info@thewalters.org if you have any information on the whereabouts of these lost Woodville paintings. It would be greatly appreciated!