Robinson at home in Chicopee

After the death of George D. Robinson in February of 1896, his family hired Vermont-born portrait painter Thomas W. Wood (1823-1903) to paint a portrait of the former governor to present as a gift to the city of Chicopee. Wood was considered a photographic portraitist whose works were lifelike and realistic.

Thomas Waterman Wood self portrait

The Robinson painting was done from a photograph. Robinson was a dandy from his garnet shirt studs to his gold watch chain and fob. The painting once hung in a former Mayor’s office, City Hall, and Chicopee Housing Authority’s George D. Robinson’s apartments. The portrait was badly damaged in 1980 when a pipe broke at City Hall, leaving the painting streaked with soot and water damage. It is the only portrait of the Chicopee governor in Chicopee so money was found to restore the painting in 1989. The state contributed $233 of the $2280 needed to restore the canvas with the balance coming from the Arts Lottery Council grant. The 33 x 27 inch oil painting found a safe home at Chicopee Public Library and it was rededicated at a ceremony on April 25, 1990 with an open house and lecture about Robinson’s life and the portrait. The restoration was done by Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory.

Restored in 1990, and proudly displayed at the Chicopee Public Library
Artist’s signature
Closeup of Robinson’s garnet or possibly ruby shirt stud
Watch chain and gold fob

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