The Historical Committee of the Goodnow Library Foundation volunteers and library staff - headed by GLF Board member Jill Rizzotti and Local History Librarian Brenda Castino continues its ongoing work of cataloging and organizing the historical archives and objects that are stored at Goodnow. As a part of this project, the Committee is creating an exhibit of Goodnow's treasured Alfred Hudson paintings. It restored 13 of the paintings, and the committee used Hudson's book, A History of Sudbury (1889) and other sources to research, identify, and describe each painting. Museum quality signage is being produced for the exhibit - to be completed in 2022. You can find these paintings on the 2nd floor of Goodnow in the hallway leading to the Historic Octagon.
Who Was Alfred Hudson?
Alfred Sereno Hudson
Born in South Sudbury on November 20, 1839, Alfred S. Hudson attended common schools and Wadsworth Academy. After graduating from Williams College, he worked in the Army Hospital in Virginia during the Civil War. Upon his return to Massachusetts, he entered Andover Theological Seminary in Burlington, Massachusetts. Shortly after graduating in 1867, he began a long career in the ministry at Congregational churches in Burlington, Easton, Malden, and Wayland. He married Miss Lydia Richards Draper of Wayland the same year. Based on his knowledge of Sudbury and his writing talents, in 1885 the Town of Sudbury engaged Hudson to write the History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889, published in 1889.
All works bequeathed to the Goodnow Library by artist Alfred S. Hudson.
The paintings displayed here draw on Hudson's childhood memories in Sudbury and his subsequent residence in the local area. They depict Sudbury scenes and landmarks.
Henry wrote: "It is not pretended that they are the work of an expert artist. Let no one then criticize them as works of art, but let them be viewed as the work of some person who has sought to represent some objects that remind us of bygone days, some that are passing, some that already have passed away."
In 2021, the GLF funded more than $7,000 for the restoration of Henry Francis Walling's Map of Middlesex County, Massachusetts (1856) that shows the original boundaries of the Sudbury Plantation. This restoration was performed at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA. This map will be hung in the newly renovated Historical Room. A smaller map hangs on the wall beside the Alfred Hudson exhibit. The numbers on this map correspond to the paintings in the exhibit, showing Hudson's scenes and landmarks. The Plantation incorporated present-day Sudbury and Wayland plus parts of Stow, Maynard, and Framingham. It was established through three separate land grants made in 1639, 1640, and 1649.