top of page

Rosie “Mother” Magee: Ministering Angel of the Early Woodstock Art Colony

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

By Bruce Weber

Konrad Cramer (1888-1963)

Rosie Magee of Rock City, c. 1915

Gelatin silver print

Konrad and Florence Ballin Collection

In the early years of the 20th century, Rosie Magee (1850-1927) was the ministering angel of the Woodstock art colony. She was unsurpassed in her motherly care, support and sympathy for the young artists and art students in town. Woodstock Town Historian Richard Heppner has pointed out that longtime Woodstockers “unfamiliar with the ways of artists, met the newcomers with skepticism, caution and, in some cases with outright hostility as they saw their town take on a new, and not necessarily welcomed, persona.”(1) Rosie embraced the young souls who made their way to Woodstock in hopes of establishing long and successful careers as artists, and provided her personal brand of wisdom, good cheer and home cooking.

Rosa A. Powell Magee was born in Woodstock in October 1850. The exact day of her birth, and many pertinent details regarding her family background are not known. Her mother was Rachel Rose Powell (1827-1900). Her father’s identity is unknown, as is the date that Rachel married her second husband, Dewitt C. Phillips (?-?). In 1872, Rosie married Sanford P. Magee (1846-1918), who spent his most productive years working as a quarry teamster. Unable to adjust to the decline in bluestone quarrying at the end of the 19th century, he tried to make a go of it as a farmer. In his later years he often whiled away the day sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch, while Rosie ran the place as a boarding and eating house.(2) The couple had no children. Rosie’s maternal side emerged in her interchange with the artists who boarded at her home or came by for dinner.

Samuel Brown Wylie (1882-1962)

Rosie Magee’s Boarding House,

c. 1909

Konrad and Florence Ballin Cramer Papers, Archives of American Art

John Kleinhans (b. 1942)

Former Magee House Today,

2 Mead Mountain Road, 2020

The Magee farmhouse still stands at the northeast corner of the crossroads of Rock City Road and the Glasco Turnpike. It is located in the former hamlet of Rock City, approximately one mile from the center of the village of Woodstock.(3) The hamlet’s name derives from the accumulation of bluestone slabs that once were stacked high in the area in preparation for transport by teamsters (among them Sanford P. Magee), who directed teams of animals to cargo boats on the Hudson River.

Living Room of Former House of

Rosie and Sanford P. Magee. 2020

A Bedroom of Former House of

Rosie and Sanford P. Magee, 2020

The Magee house dates from 1824, and has undergone relatively modest renovations over the course of the past century. In addition to the large kitchen, there is a living room, dining room (currently serving as an extension of the living room), four bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The house served in a limited capacity as a boarding house. Its claim to notoriety was the presence of the generous and spirited Rosie Magee, who served and became friendly with the aspiring young artists who came to her house to stay and/or dine in the kitchen on her cooking.

The artist and chronicler of the Woodstock art colony, Anita M. Smith, devoted a chapter of her book Woodstock History and Hearsay to discussing Rosie Magee and the artists of Rock City. According to Smith, Rosie was a frequent portrait subject, despite her homeliness, hairlip, and the “odor of sour milk about her,”(4) Smith also related that the Magee farmhouse was itself a popular subject, and that Rosie never seemed “still except in the hundreds of sketches made of the Rock City corner. For in the days of Impressionist art in Woodstock the first enchanting sight of the crossroads always led the students to try painting a canvas. When one approached from Woodstock village, the composition seemed perfect. Through the branches of the old apple trees was the white house surrounded by a picket fence with splashes of red from a flowering shrub or the apples to match the color of the chimney. Then there was the hard-to-catch faded blue of Rosie’s sunbonnet or the several layers of skirts, or the apron that usually held a few handfuls of grain to the fowl that followed her about. Close to the house were weathered barns and sheds that shone warm gray against the blue of Overlook Mountain. The place was depicted in every season, in spring when the first cool greens crept over the valley under silver skies, and full summer when the sun parched the grass and the mountain seemed to smoke in a heat wave.”(5)

Detail with Crossroads of

Rock City Road and Glasco Turnpike (Running Horizontally)

Rudolph and Margaret Wetterau, Map of Woodstock, With Artists’ Houses, 1926

Andrew Dasburg (1887-1979)

Landscape with Barns, 1914

Gerald Peters Gallery

Artists began to settle in Woodstock with the founding in 1902 of the Byrdcliffe art colony on the south facing side of Guardian Mountain. Taking the cue of Bolton Brown, artists soon started to live on the neighboring slopes of Overlook Mountain. Many artists found homes in the barns and assorted farm buildings that dotted the crossroads of Rock City. Among the artists who lived or frequented the hamlet between 1903 and 1915, were Zulma Steele, Edna Walker, John F. Carlson, Walter Goltz, Benjamin Bufano, Andrew Dasburg, Charles Bayley Cook, Eugene Speicher, Henry Lee McFee, William V. Cahill, Edward Thatcher, Henry R. Pfeiffer. Margaret Goddard, Marion Bullard, Evelyn Jacus, Grace Mott Johnson, Samuel Brown Wiley, George Macrum, Ned Chase, and Frank Swift Chase. The area also was home to poets Harriet Howe, Anne Moore, and Grace Fallow Norton (Macrum’s wife), and pianist Clara Chichester. The Indianapolis Star reported in 1911 that in Rock City the “happy fad of making studios of barns and old buildings obtains, and it is astonishing to see what ‘comfy’ artistic places old gray barns make . . . .”(6)

Frank Swift Chase (1886-1959)

Landscape, c. 1915

Woodstock Artists Association

and Museum

Unknown Photographer

Henry and Daphne Mattson in Front of Their Woodstock Home,

December 1964

Collection of the Author

Henry Mattson Studio,

Striebel Scrapbook,

Woodstock Artists

Association Archives

Artists resided in the house across the road from the Magee's. Frank Swift Chase moved into the house on the southeast corner following the departure in around 1912 of Howe and her 24 cats. Chase lived there till around 1930, when the landscape, marine, still life, and frequent painter of self-portraits, Henry Mattson moved in, setting up a studio on the second floor.

John Kleinhans (b. 1942)

Four Corners – Looking West

from Glasco Turnpike, 2020

Magee House on Right

– Chase/Mattson House on Left

During her early years in Woodstock, Smith roomed for a period at the Rock City boarding house of Ella Riseley, and in a stable up the mountain on the Old Riseley homestead. In her book Woodstock History and Hearsay she recounts a tale she learned about Rosie’s use of a spyglass to keep an eye on the doings in the neighborhood. In around 1903, Zulma Steele and Edna Walker lived in Rock City while awaiting the completion of the construction of their cottage, the "Angelus," in Byrdcliffe. Through the lens of her spyglass Rosie gleaned that Steele was living with a male companion up the road at the Reynolds family’s barn. After walking up to take a closer look she discovered Edna Walker was working in pants. She then surveyed the two women’s quarters and exclaimed in amazement, “Why they’re living like real folks even if it is a barn!”(7)

Unknown Photographer

Rock City Group Across from

Rosie Magee’s House, c. 1910

Anita M. Smith Collection

From Left: Frank Swift Chase,

Florence Ballin [later Cramer],

Ned Chase, Henry Lee McFee,

Marion Bullard, Unknown.

During the first decade of the 20th century, the artists of Rock City were a tight, fun-loving, and congenial group who often dined together at Rosie Magee’s.(8) According to Anita M. Smith, rifts began to form between the artists in the course of 1910 following Andrew Dasburg’s return from Paris where he came under the influence of French modern art.(9) The rifts widened measurably after the German-born artist Konrad Cramer arrived in Woodstock from Munich in late 1912, with further knowledge about radical developments in contemporary European art, and further still the following year when a group of Rock City artists traveled to New York City to see the International Exposition of Modern Art, better known as the Armory Show, and returned talking about the work of Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, George Braque, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp. According to an article in the Woodstock periodical The Overook a "gallery was formed in Rosie Magee's dining room, and the motive force driving the group of Woodstock [modernist] artists was the motto. 'Modern Art or Die.’”(10)

For the cost of twenty-five cents, artists dined at the Magee's on lavish portions of poultry or meat, and potatoes and gravy, accompanied by onions, turnips, pickles and jellies, followed by a desert of pies and puddings. Diners frequently had to brush a hen or two off of their plate or chair, thanks to the Magees' habit of failing to discipline or keep their animals out of the house. While parsing out meal’s Rosie would linger for a while and join in the fun and conversation. Smith related that she added “a bit of her wise philosophy. Among the farm people she was one of the few who appreciated the humor of the artists, and she was always ready to defend them. She rejoiced over their successes and lamented over their failures, ever tolerant of their behavior even when the other village folks were scandalized. When they were unable to pay for their meals she allowed them credit or accepted their paintings, which hung on her walls . . . .”(11) The artist Henry Lee McFee related that Magee’s opinion was asked about various issues that arose, and that “she even decided an argument, though it was generally with a compromise that would hurt no one’s feelings.“(12)

In addition to cooking and doing the housekeeping for her guests, Rosie helped out on the farm; milking the cows, feeding the horses, pigs and fowl, planting and weeding the vegetable garden, washing and mending clothes, making rugs, and filling the cellar with her homemade pickles and preserves. According to Smith, Rosie’s husband Sanford found it difficult to bestir himself to help Rosie with the chores. Rosie told Smith that her husband was “harder to get going than a British sloop.”(13) Following Sanford’s death in 1918, Rosie continued to keep his horses in the barn; she remembered how proud he was of the work the animals accomplished when he was a quarry teamster.

Konrad Cramer (1888-1963)

Rosie Magee Feeding Animals, c. 1915

Konrad and Florence Ballin Cramer Collection, Historical

Society of Woodstock

Rosie made pets of every creature on her farm. She bought boxes of shredded wheat for her chickens even when her funds were depleted. She befriended a skunk she discovered in a barrel, and formed a friendship with a fox that she encountered. A reporter for the Kingston Daily Freeman remarked that always “in her wake were her chickens and ducks, and once when someone asked her if she ate the ducks she replied indignantly: ‘Why you couldn’t persuade me to eat one of my birds.’”(14)

Neighboring poet Anne Moore wrote the following poem in response to Rosie’s warm and loving attitude toward animals:

The Hen Came Clucking In

The hen came clucking in one day

And found the chair.

”I declare to goodness,” said Rosie Magee,

“if she ain’t got Sweetie’s place.

i suppose I ought to drive her out

But it seems to fit her somehow

And Sweetie ain't wanting it right now.”

The hen stopped clucking long enough

to lay an egg.

“Well it’s nice anyway,” said Rosie Magee,

“to have her bring it here to me.

I'm getting kind of old to climb the haymow to the loft

where she's always laid before.

Maybe things will turn out right."

But the hen took a fancy to the chair.

And she had a good strong beak.

When the cat came padding in

and found her there he stuck his whiskers out

and made a frightful object of himself

and spat.

The hen clucked out a battle cry

And with unforeseen agility

swooped from her perch and pecked at his eye.

The cat with coward versatility

dropped his jaunty air,

and with a terrible meow fled from the chair

with a half-closed eye, an ear that bled

and a bald spot on his head.

Rosie dressed his wounds and gave him milk and said,

"I ought to a helped you, Sweetie.

But - I don't know as I ought, either.

I don't know rightly what's fair to do.

The chair belongs to you, but Jennie's a hen.

And a hen had ought to have a cushion,

when she wants to lay an egg."

The hen sat on. And every day she sat.

And she turned into a hatching' hen.

Rosie used to sit in the chair herself at night.

Now she shoos the hen to a straw-filled nest, and says

"I guess it's your turn, Sweetie."

She is cruel tired after her day's hard work.

But she patiently sits on a stool

and watching the sleek, white body

curled in her chair, rests vicariously.

"I love you best. Sweetie," she says.

"But I guess hens have rights

that I got to respect."(15)

Unknown Photographer

View of John F. Carlson’s Barn from

Rosie Magee’s Front Porch, c. 1908

John F. Carlson Research Files,

Woodstock Artists

Association Archives

View from Former House of Rosie Magee with View of Barn

Where John F. Carlson Lived,

and on Right the Former House of Frank Swift Chase and Henry Mattson, 2020

Former Barn Home of John F. Carlson,

Eugene Speicher, and Margaret Goddard, 2020

Unknown Photographer

John F. Carlson, c. 1908

John F. Carlson Research Files,

Woodstock Artists Association Archives

[Carlson standing in front of the barn he lived in, opposite, and back, from

Magee house.]

For several years John F. Carlson lived in a barn across the road from the Magee house for which he paid $5 a year.(16) Carlson studied with Birge Harrison at Byrdcliffe, and at the Woodstock School of Landscape Painting. In 1907, Harrison hired him as his assistant, and five years later Carlson succeeded him as head of the summer school of the Art Students League of New York. In the summer of 1911, the visiting reporter for the Indianapolis Star got a glimpse of Carlson’s residence, and related that the interior of the barn was occupied by bookshelves, couches, and “a long table filled with books that invite one to linger and read, an old spinet, easels, canvases and all the paraphernalia that marks the artist, make this studio not only a working, but a hospitable center.”(17)

Unknown Photographer

Inside John F. Carlson’s Barn, c. 1908

Woodstock Artists

Association Archives

Carlson remarked that “Gayety was a habit with the [Rock City artists], and most of them owed their creature-comforts and happiness to the ministering angel embodied in a dear old soul, the famous Mrs. Magee, for, in fair weather and foul, in sickness or in health, she stood ready to serve the youngsters with shelter, food, and sympathy.”(18) The English author and poet Richard Le Gallienne related that Rosie would often put her hands on Carlson’s head, and jokingly say “‘Oh, you, you’re a great man now, aren’t you? With your singing and your going off with the young girls pretending to paint.’”(19)

John F. Carlson (1875-1947)

Rosie Magee Walking on Road

Near Rock City, c. 1908

Collection of Mark Schaming

Label on Reverse of John F. Carlson Painting

Rosie Magee Walking on Road

Near Rock City

Magee is pictured in Carlson's early painting Rosie Magee Walking on Road Near Rock City. This work was once owned by Rosie. The label on the reverse indicates that the work passed down from descendant to descendant. The second owner was Rosie’s half-sister, Charlotte Van Velkenburgh.

Eugene Speicher and Margaret Goddard (who later married Carlson) also lived for a period in the barn across from the Magee house. Speicher dined regularly at the Magee’s, and following his marriage in 1910 he and his bride Elsie boarded at the house. While staying at the Magee's, Speicher was frequently visited by George Bellows, his artist friend from New York City (and himself a later summer resident of Woodstock), with whom he attended Robert Henri’s class at the Lincoln Arcade.(20) Speicher sometimes gave the Magee’s paintings in trade for board or meals.(21)

Unknown Photographer

Andrew Dasburg, c. 1913

Andrew Dasburg Papers,

Archives of American Art

Andrew Dasburg also had a close and affectionate relationship with Rosie. In later life he looked back fondly at the times he boarded and dined at the Magee home, surrounded by the likes of Carlson, McFee and Macrum. His frequent comings and goings from the house once led Rosie to exclaim “My soul’s sake alive, you’re like a swingin’ door, in and out of the house all day!’”(22) Dasburg considered Rosie to be “even-tempered, hard-working with a twinkle in her eye and always greeted ‘her boys’ with a smile and a joking remark. ‘Come Dasburg,’ she would say, ‘set down and eat your vittles.’ Such breakfasts! All the eggs and bacon you could eat and sour batter buckwheat cakes with maple syrup.”(23) In the summer of 1910, following his return from abroad, Dasburg rented a house near the Magees for $2 a month with his fellow artists Morgan Russell and Walter Dorwin Teague (who went on to a successful career as an industrial designer). He later recalled that the three of them were hired by Sanford P. Magee to chop up 20 cords of wood. (24)

Andrew Dasburg (1887-1979)

Rock City, c. 1918

Graphite on paper

Dasburg split his home between New Mexico and Woodstock from 1918 to 1928. In 1929, he moved permanently to the Southwest. Dasburg loved living in Woodstock, and in later years recalled “those early mornings up in the Catskill Mountains looking down [from Rock City] on Woodstock Valley lying in a frosty mist and seen through a screen of trees in full autumn colors. Woodstock became an open door; it was all of life to me, not just trees and hills.”(25)

Marion Bullard (1878-1950)

Woman and Child Walking Up Road,

c. 1920s

Collection of Timothy

and Ruth Leaycraft

Marion Bullard (1878-1929)

“Get Along Home and Act Like a Respectable Cow,” Said Rosie Magee

Illustration from The Cow Next Door

(New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, 1929),p. 39.

Marion Bullard (1878-1950)

“Can you Get me Back My Cud,

Mrs. Magee”

Illustration from The Cow Next Door (New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1929), p. 50.

The artist Marion Bullard also formed a close friendship with Rosie. Bullard included images of Rosie in her paintings, such as Woman and Child Walking Up Road, and devoted her children’s book The Cow Next Door to her memory. Rosie is featured in the story that unfolds in The Cow Next Door, and appears in two illustrations. Like most of Bullard’s children’s books, The Cow Next Door is based in a Woodstock locale. It tells the story of a cow who lived at Bullard's neighbor Rosie’s house, who, after hearing an automobile horn, refuses to moo until her “supposed rival” gave milk. Rosie and her friends try again and again to coerce the cow to moo, but she doesn’t comply, until one day when an automobile gets stuck nearby in the mud.

Marion Bullard (1878-1950)

Maisons d’Aix, c. 1925-1930

Collection of William Lanford

Bullard’s early paintings feature the barns, fields, mountains and farms of Woodstock in cool and misty values. In the 1920s, she came under the influence of Paul Cézanne, and from 1925 to 1930 she spent extensive time in France. In 1930 she worked in Cézanne‘s studio in Aix-en-Provence, which she shared with her fellow Woodstockers George Macrum and Grace Fallow Norton. As noted, Rosie appears in Bullard's painting Woman and Child Walking Up Road. A woman with a Rosie-like figure and attire appears in the foreground of the painting Maison d’Aix — an indication that even while abroad Bullard was mindful of her friend back in Woodstock.

In 1920, Anita M. Smith and the artist Caroline R. Atkinson organized a surprise party for Rosie’s 70th birthday at Atkinson's barn studio in nearby Shady.(26) In the days leading up to the party they briefly reunited Rosie and her childhood beau Hercules Davis; at the meeting the two “exchanged coy glances” and flirted “like teenagers.”(27) Many of Rosie’s artist friends came to the party, traveling from near and far. Smith related that there “were a few good singers in the group, like John Carlson and Charlie Speicher [brother of Eugene Speicher], but the whole crowd burst lustily into ‘Sweet Rosie O’Grady’ as the little old woman was led into the studio. She was placed in an armchair where she was weeping with joy as each person in turn squeezed her worked-out hands, expressing their affection and gratitude. . . . As I recall she did not say a word all evening, but sat there with the tears flowing down her cheeks.”(28)

Gravestone of Rosie and Sanford P. Magee, Woodstock Cemetery

Near the end of her life Rosie was asked by the pianist Clara Chichester (who lived in the house immediately to the east of Rosie’s on Glasco Turnpike), what she would like as a present for an upcoming birthday. She responded, “Well, you know, I always wished I had a pair of pink satin slippers, and I’d like to be buried in them.”(29) In June 1927, Rosie was buried in the Woodstock Cemetery alongside her husband Sanford, her feet befittingly clad in the pair of pink satin slippers.(30) Following Rosie's death, Anita M. Smith acquired some of the land that the Magees owned, and in 1934 built a bluestone house on what once had been Rosie’s apple orchard. Smith inherited the Magee‘s wooden rocking chair, affectionately preserved many of her old apple trees, and believed Rosie would be happy to know her trees were lovingly being cared for.(31)

* * * * * . * * * * *

I would first like to thank the Normand family for welcoming Matthew Leaycraft and I into their home, the former property of Rosie and Sanford P. Magee. I'd also like to express my thanks for the help and assistance provided by Matthew, Timothy and Ruth Leaycraft, John Kleinhans, Paula Nelson, Arthur A. Anderson, Mark Schaming. William Lanford, Weston and Julia Blelock, Mikhail Horowitz, Michele Schwerert, Barbara and Dinah Carlson. Kim Apolant, Librarian, Woodstock Public Library, again provided very valuable assistance.

(1) Richard Heppner, Women of the Catskills: Stories of Struggle, Sacrifice and Hope (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2011), p. 36.

(2) Anita M. Smith remarked that Sanford P. Magee was once referred to by a neighbor as "Rosie Magee's ornament." Smith is quoted in Louise Jonas, "Debutante, Anita Smith, Chose to Become Ulster Herbalist," Poughkeepsie Sunday New Yorker, November 22, 1942, p. 5A. I would like to thank Weston and Julia Blelock for providing a copy of this article.

(3) In the early 20th century, the farmhouse and barn (located on the southwest and northwest corners) were owned by the Harder family of Woodstock. For a period Levi and Marietta Harder lived in the farmhouse on the southwest corner. The barn on the northwest corner was later home to Fritzi Striebel (wife of cartoonist John H. Striebel), and then to her close friend Jean Gaede (the subject of a recent blog by Joan Clancy, written in the aftermath of Jean's death). Levi and Marietta Harder had a friendly relationship with the artists in the Rock City area, some of whom lived in the barns that they owned. A reporter for the Kingston Daily Freeman related that the Harders ousted “their chickens in order that the barns might become studios.” “Rose Magee Paved Road to Success of Young Artists," Daily Freeman, December 9, 1949, p. 12. Richard Le Gallienne commended Levi Harder for his friendly relationship with local artists. Richard Le Gallienne, Woodstock: An Essay (Woodstock, New York: Woodstock Art Association, 1923), p. 13. Levi and Marietta also owned the property at the southeast corner of the crossroads, which as noted was the home at different times of the artists Frank Swift Chase and Henry Mattson. After many years of renting, Henry and Daphne Mattson purchased the property from their son Le Roy Harder. Louise Ault, Artist in Woodstock: George Ault, the Independent Years (Phildelphia: Dorrance and Company, 1978), p. 141.

(4) "Rose Magee Paved Road to Success of Young Artists," p. 12. In 1920, Smith's painting Magee's Farm (current location unknown), was shown at the annual exhibitions of the National Academy of Design in New York, and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. It was also shown that year in Provincetown and Northampton, Massachusetts. Information about the showings was generously provided by Weston and Julia Blelock.

(5) Anita M. Smith, Woodstock History and Hearsay (Woodstock, New York: Woodstock Arts, 2006), pp. 123-133. Smith’s book was first published in 1959 by the Catskill Mountain Corporation in Saugerties, New York. Smith credits (p. 369) several people for the personal communications they shared about Rosie, including Ethel Peets, Eugene Speicher, Andrew Dasburg, Rhoda Chase, Alice Wardwell, and Magee herself. Hopefully the pictures of Rosie and of the Magee house will emerge in time. The author welcomes information from readers who are aware of depictions of Magee and her house.

(6) Laura A. Smith, “What Former Indiana People are Doing in New York,” The Indianapolis Star, June 11, 1911, p. 53.

(7) Anita M. Smith, pp. 124-125.

(8) In 1930, three years after Rosie Magee’s death, Florence Ballin Cramer looked back at the time she and her artist circle congregated at the Magee house: “The days of the Magee’s, when Gene [Speicher], and John [Carlson] and [Henry Lee] McFee and

[Charles Bayley] Cook and [William V.] Cahilll and Isabelle [Moore] and Konrad [Cramer] and I and others still met daily at the noon or evening meal – when we were free and still childless. Discussion of every sort waxed hot. When conversation was rich and the food poor; when the kitchen [at Magee’s) reeked of fying bacon and rancid butter in winter, and the flies stormed thickly in summer, the heart of old Rosie Magee was warm and full of humor and kindness, and her little blue eyes twinkled, and bits of jollity and wisdom fell from her ‘hare lips.’ [Though] she never ventured farther than the barn to milk her cows or to feed her chickens and husband her horses. Her wisdom was wide and her understanding great.” Florence Ballin Cramer, Diary Entry of January 16, 1930, pp. 12-13, typescript in possession of Cramer family.

(9) Ibid., p. 125.

(10) "Konrad Cramer," The Overlook 2 (June 25, 1932): 7. In part 1 of my blog on Walter Goltz, I discussed the exhibition of 1912 of a group of members of the so-called Rock City Group in Indianapolis, New York City, and possibly other places.

(11) Ibid, p. 128

(12) McFee is quoted in Le Gallienne, p. 14.

(13) Anita M. Smith, p. 125.

(14) “Rose Magee Paved Road to Success of Young Artists,” p. 12.

(15) Anne Moore, A Misty Sea (Portland, Maine: The Southworth-Anthoensen Press, 1937), pp. 122-125.

(16) "Konrad Cramer," The Overlook 2 (June 25, 1932): 7.

(17) Laura A. Smith, p. 53.

(18) John F. Carlson, “The Art Students League in Woodstock,” Publications of the Woodstock Historical Society, no. 9 (September 1932): 15.

(19) Le Gallienne, p. 14.

(20) “Autumn Shows Now Launched in Metropolitan Area,” The Morning Call (Patterson, New Jersey), October 8, 1943, p. 3.

(21) This information was provided in a conversation with Arthur Anderson of February 16, 2021.

(22) Anita M. Smith, p. 130.

(23) Ibid.

(24) Andrew Dasburg, “Notes by Andrew Dasburg,” in Andrew Dasburg (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, 1957), n.p.

(25) Ibid., n.p.

(26) The birthday party for Rosie Magee is discussed in Anita M. Smith (pp. 132-133), and “Rose Magee Paved Road to Success of Young Artists” (p. 12). Smith is the source for both discussions of the party. The party took place in 1920 when Magee was 70 years old, not eighty years old, as Smith stated. Magee lived till the age of 76.

(27) Anita M. Smith, p. 132. Hercules Davis is the subject of Smith's painting "Herc Davis,” which is reproduced in Anita M. Smith (p. 39). He is also the subject of a lithograph by Adolf Dehn dating from the early 1930s.

(28) Ibid., p. 133.

(29) Ibid., p. 133.

(30) Also buried in the plot is Peter Stall (1816-1893), who is described in census and other records dating from the late 19th century as a day laborer working in the Hudson Valley. Stall might be the person referred to as Peaches Stall in a tale told by Anita M. Smith to the reporter Louise Jonas (more familiarly known as Louise Ault, wife of artist George Ault). The tale centers around "a farmer called Peaches Stall 'who one day while plowing a stony piece of land, cursed the stones good and proper, with the result that his bad language caused the devil to appear before him. And the devil said, 'I'll rid your fields of stone if you give me your soul a year from today.' Peaches agreed. The devil made good, and reappeared at the appointed time, whereupon Peaches ripped off the soles of his shoes and threw them at the devil. The devil is then said to have returned all the stones to Peaches field, double." Smith's recounting of the tale appears in Louise Jonas, “Debutante, Anita Smith, Chose to Become Ulster Herbalist,” p. 5A.

(31) “Rose Magee Paved Road to Success of Young Artists,” p. 12. In the late 1940s, the Magee house was purchased by the artist Sigmund Menkes, who lived there through the early 1960s. For a period in the early 1940s and late 1950s, the house was rented out to the artist Peggy Dodds. The Normand family has owned the house since the mid-1960s. Following the conclusion of the Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York in mid-August of 1969, the Normands rented the house out to the rock band Santana with the agreement that they would not rehearse while staying there. At the time I was vacationing at a boarding house on Tinker Street. During the course of my stay I was a regular at the Purple Elephant Café (now the location of Lotus Fine Art and Design Inc.) on Rock City Road. Needing a place to rehearse the band came to play regularly in the late afternoon there, and I was fortunate to be a member of the audience, as was Woodstock Town Historian Richard Heppner, whom I did not know at the time.

388 views2 comments

2 commentaires

27 févr. 2021

Wonderfully captivating! Bruce Weber knits together so many fragments of memories and hearsay - richly done.


That was so interesting! I am a painter and we live on Meads Mt. Road (up near the top) so I found this all so exciting. Some wonderful painters have left big footprints on this landscape. Mariella Bisson

bottom of page