Redfield's The Road to Pleasantville was acquired directly from the artist by Mr. W.R. Johnson of Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Keenly interested in American art, the Johnsons formed one of the most impressive private collections of American paintings at the early part of the twentieth century.
F. Newlin Price chronicled the Johnsons' wonderful collection in a 1924 article published in International Studio entitled "The Johnsons of Uniontown." Price quoted Mr. Johnson as he discussed his tastes: "'The beauty in good pictures so appealed to me and gave me so much pleasure and comfort that I conceived the notion of gathering together a collection of good things, the best I could afford with my limited means, not only for my own happiness and elevation, but for the benefit and pleasure of others as well,' is the way Mr. Johnson talked.
"'I felt that my own family could not be surrounded by beautiful things and fail to be influenced for good by them--that beauty in the home would bring beauty and higher aspirations into the mind and soul of everyone in the house. I felt that such a collection surely would help to create and stimulate an interest and a love of art among my friends, arouse in them a beauty-hunger. This end, I am satisfied, has to a certain degree been accomplished. I firmly believe that a collection of good works of art in a community exerts a subtle influence for refinement and is a stimulus for art generally, and that "a thing of beauty" is not only "a joy forever," but a vital dymanic force as well. I want my collection to contribute to the true betterment of this and future generaltions--to make their lives fuller and better.
"'In assembling my collection I have confined myself almost entirely to works of our American artists, because I believe in them and want to lend them all the aid and encouragement I can, and because I believe they have produced and are producing work as good and as vital as ever has been produced in any country at any time in the history of art.'" ("The Johnsons of Uniontown," International Studio, Vo. 80, December 1924, pp. 194-195)
A letter from the artist to Mr. W.J. Johnson dated January 29, 1924 accompanies this lot.
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Edward Redfield's works being compiled by Dr. Thomas Folk.