Walter Elmer Schofield, Bridge in Suffolk

Date unknown
Oil on canvas board
Credit Line
Gift of the Margaret E. Phillips 2017 Artworks Trust, 2020
11 1/2 x 13 1/2 in.

In 1927, Schofield and his wife purchased historic Otley High House in the county of Suffolk in England. From there, the artist would journey through the countryside with a supply of small prepared canvas boards and make quick impressionistic views, like this one. He would capture the picturesque features of architecture and nature as they interacted with light and shadow, but also determine the main components of a composition he might return to later in the studio.

Otley High House was a significant structure dating back to the fifteenth century, with a moat and a grand-scaled entrance hall. Inspired by his parents’ passion for historic architecture, Sydney Schofield, the artist’s younger son, pursued a successful career as a preservation architect. He carried out the much-needed preservation and conservation of Otley High House. Elmer and Muriel sold Otley in 1937 when Sydney purchased Godolphin, an even more significant estate in Cornwall; the “Gwenda House” on the Godolphin estate would become their British home base.

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