Robert William Wood

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Robert William Wood
Robert W. Wood
Born(1889-03-04)March 4, 1889
Sandgate, Kent, England
DiedMarch 14, 1979(1979-03-14) (aged 90)
Bishop, California, United States
Known forLandscape painting
MovementCalifornia Plein-Air Painting, American Impressionism

Robert William Wood (March 4, 1889 – March 14, 1979) was an American landscape painter.[1] He was born in England, emigrated to the United States and rose to prominence in the 1950s with the sales of millions of his color reproductions.[2] He was active in the art colonies of San Antonio, Texas in the 1930s,[3] Monterey, California in the 1940s and Laguna Beach in the 1950s.[4]


Life and work[edit]

Robert William Wood was born in Sandgate, Kent, England, near the White Cliffs of Dover. His father, W. L. Wood, was a renowned home and church painter who recognized and supported his son's talent. He forced his son to paint by keeping him inside rather than letting him play with his friends. At age 12, Wood entered the South Kensington School of Art in nearby Folkestone. While in school, Wood won four first awards and three second awards for his paintings.[5] After emigrating from England in 1910, he roamed the United States from Maine to California in search of landscape subjects. He eventually settled in Laguna Beach, California in 1940.[6]

Robert Wood reproductions[edit]

Wood's work was widely published by a number of publishers, the most prolific being Donald Bonnist's Donald Art Company, which distributed more than one million copies of October Morn, Wood's most popular print, in less than two years. Wood was at the peak of his fame in the 1950s through 1970s when his scenes of the Catskill Mountains in New York, the California coast, the Grand Tetons, the Rocky Mountains, the Texas Hill Country and the Cascades were most popular. His popularity made him a household name in America. Millions of his reproductions were printed in large editions by a number of publishers. Titles like Autumn Bronze, Early Spring, Pine & Birch, Texas Spring, and The Old Mill are found in homes across North America.[7]

Studio locations[edit]

He lived in rural Ohio; Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Monterey, California; Laguna Beach, California; Woodstock, New York;[8] San Diego, California; and Bishop, California. He was a popular exhibitor at the Laguna Art Festival and a Life Member of the Laguna Art Association.[9] He was represented by galleries in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Cleveland.[10]

Later life[edit]

Wood moved to the Owens Valley in Bishop, California in the early 1960s with his wife, the artist Caryl Wood. On a large parcel of land with its own trout pond, they built studios for each of them. While in Bishop, the Woods became friends with landscape painters Robert Clunie and Richard Coons. The Woods sold the property to move to San Diego, where they restored a Victorian home.[11] After a few years in San Diego, they returned to Bishop, where they purchased a smaller property.

Wood died in Bishop at the age of ninety, just a month before a large retrospective exhibition was mounted at the Morseburg Galleries in Los Angeles, by Howard Morseburg and the Newport Beach gallery owner Raymond Hagen.[12]


Wood was an extremely facile painter and his artistic production was substantial, in excess of 5,000 completed works. His work is sold at galleries specializing in historic American art and is sold frequently at auction, with his auction record in excess of $40,000.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Although he was never naturalized as a citizen, his entire career was in the United States, hence his designation as an "American" artist.
  2. ^ These figures came from the Donald Art Company and are referenced by Jeffrey Morseburg in his essays on Robert and other web sites.
  3. ^ He was represented in a number of the early San Antonio Plein-Air exhibitions in the late 1920s.
  4. ^ Records of Laguna Art Festival. See also articles in archival section of Robert Wood web site referenced below.
  5. ^ "TEXAS ARTIST: ROBERT WOOD". Vogt Auction. Retrieved 2 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Rites Pending for Artist Robert Wood". Los Angeles Times. 17 March 1979. p. B1.
  7. ^ Donald Art Company was a leading American art publisher from the 1950s through the 1980s. Its D.A.C.N.Y. legend is found on millions of Wood reproductions.
  8. ^ Flume. The Last Mountain.
  9. ^ Wood exhibited his work at most Laguna Art Festivals from the late 1940s through the early 1960s.
  10. ^ Richard Challis and Larry Kronquist in Laguna Beach, Newman Galleries in Philadelphia, Palmer Galleries in Atlanta, Morseburg Galleries in Los Angeles are several of the galleries.
  11. ^ Images of both these homes are reproduced on the official website.
  12. ^ Gaston, Godfrey, Robert Wood Retrospective, Exhibition Catalog, Morseburg Galleries, Los Angeles, California, 1979
  13. ^ Ask Art reference site lists hundreds of sales with a value of more than $40,000.


  • Kronquist, Lawrence, Robert Wood, gallery brochure, Laguna Beach, California, 1973
  • Gaston, Godfrey, Robert Wood Retrospective, Exhibition Catalog, Morseburg Galleries, Los Angeles, California, 1979
  • Morseburg, Jeffrey, Robert Wood Centennial, Exhibition Catalog, Morseburg Galleries, Los Angeles, California, 1989
  • Morseburg, Jeffrey, Robert W. Wood (1889–1979), unpublished essay, West Hollywood, California, 2007
  • Interview with Howard E. Morseburg (b. 1924), Wood's Los Angeles dealer, Santa Ynez, California, 2010

Further reading[edit]

  • Fillmore, Gary, Canyon Magic: Landmark Art from the Picerne Collection, 2010
  • Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson (Editor), The Artists Bluebook: 34,000 North American Artists, 2005
  • Davenport, Ray Davenport's Art Reference: The Gold Edition, 2005
  • Vose, Marcia Latimore (editor), Vose Art Notes: A Guide for Collectors, Winter 2003, Volume XI
  • Hughes, Edan Milton, Artists in California: 1786-1940 (two volumes), 2002
  • Grauer, Michael R and E. Harvey, The Eyes of Texas: The Bill and Mary Cheek Collection, 2001
  • Powers, John & Deborah, Texas Painters, Sculptors & Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas Before 1942, 2000
  • Falk, Peter Hastings (editor), Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975, 3 volumes, 1999
  • Grauer, Paula and Michael R., Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800–1945, 1999
  • McCann, Chris, Master Pieces: The Art History of Jigsaw Puzzles, 1998
  • Southwest Art, Red Book Price Guide to Western American Art, 1997
  • Jones Gallery, New Beginnings: A Group Exhibition, 1993
  • Southwest Art Magazine, The Red Book: Western American Price Index, 1993
  • Steinfeld, Cecilia; William H. Goetzmann (Intro), Art for History's Sake The Texas Collection of the Witte Museum 1993
  • Falk, Peter Hastings, Dictionary of Signatures & Monograms, 1988
  • Zellman, Michael David, 300 Years of American Art, (two volumes), 1986
  • Dawdy, Doris, Artists of the American West:A Biographical Dictionary (3 volumes), 1985
  • Falk, Peter Hastings (editor), Who Was Who in American Art: Artists Active Between 1898-1947
  • Flume, Violet, The Last Mountain: The Life of Robert Wood, 1983
  • Schimmel, Julie; Gilbert Tapley, Vincent Stark Museum of Art: The Western Collection, 1978
  • Samuels, Peggy and Harold, The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, 1976
  • Museum of Texas Tech University, Selections from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Fred T. Hogan, 1974
  • Hagen, Raymond, Robert Wood Exhibition, 1970

External links[edit]