Lynd Ward Draws Stories: Inspired by Mexico's History, Mark Twain, and Adventures in the Woods

Lynd Ward: An Aztec Market from The Mexican Story, ca. 1953
Jul 07, 2012 - Jun 30, 2013
Duvoisin Gallery

Lynd Ward (1905-1985), a gifted artist-storyteller, illustrated more than 100 books for children and young adults, several in collaboration with his wife May McNeer. Selected from the Zimmerli’s collection, this exhibition features 37 captivating original and printed illustrations from six books for young people: The Biggest Bear (1952), for which Ward received the prestigious Caldecott Medal; The Mexican Story (1953; text by May McNeer); America’s Mark Twain (1962); Nic of the Woods (1965); Early Thunder (1967); and Go Tim Go! (1967). Twenty-three drawings, watercolors, and lithographic proofs for The Mexican Story—a sweeping history from the Aztec civilization to the modern era—provide insight into Ward’s creative process. Ward pioneered the American graphic novel without text, which he called a “novel in woodcuts” for adults. His earliest books, Gods' Man (1929) and Mad Man’s Drum (1930), are also on view. The exhibition is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but special tours can be arranged. To reserve a class or group tour Tuesday through Sunday, please contact the Education Department, education@zimmerli.rutgers.edu, at least two weeks in advance.

Organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings, with Beth McKeown, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings

Lynd Ward

Flower Girl in an Aztec Market from The Mexican Story, ca. 1953 

Illustration design: watercolor, gouache, and ink over graphite

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of the artist

© Lynd Ward courtesy of Robin Ward Savage