John Quincy Adams Ward Papers Digital Collection

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John Quincy Adams Ward Papers Digital Collection
Portrait photograph of Edgar Melville Ward (1839-1915) - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
Circa 1865-1870, and undated

Historical Context

John Quincy Adams Ward was born on June 29, 1830, in Urbana, Ohio. He was the fourth of eight children born to John Anderson (1783-1855) and Eleanor Macbeth Ward (1795- 1856). One of his younger brothers was the artist, Edgar Melville Ward (1839-1915). Encouraged in his early art by local potter, Miles Chatfield, Ward became discouraged after attending a sculpture exhibition in Cincinnati in 1847.

While living with his older sister Eliza (1824-1904) and her husband in Brooklyn, New York, Ward began training under sculptor Henry Kirke Brown (1814-1886), under whose tutelage he would remain from 1849-1856. In 1857 he set out on his own, making busts of men in public life. In 1861, Ward set up his own studio in New York City, where he dedicated himself to developing an American school of sculpture.

Left a widower twice, Ward eventually married Rachel Smith (1849-1933) in 1906. She was instrumental in helping to get his work and papers placed in numerous institutions. During his lifetime, Ward created numerous public sculptures, including one of General Phillip Sheridan in Albany, New York, and he participated in and served on numerous boards. Ward died in New York City in 1910, and was buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio.

Scope of Collection

This collection contains materials digitized from the John Quincy Adams Ward Papers, 1800-1933. It includes photographs of other artists and some of Ward’s drawings, most of which are undated or from the latter half of the 19th Century. The full collection of materials is 2.08 linear feet in size.

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