John Stanton Ward (1917 - 2007)

John Ward was born in Hereford on 10 October 1917 and was educated at St Owen's School and the Hereford School of Arts and Crafts, 1932–36 before going on in the latter year to the Royal College of Art, where he won the Drawing Prize before war service in the Royal Engineers, starting in 1939. He returned to the RCA in 1946 and won the Travelling Scholarship for 1947, then worked for 'Vogue' magazine from 1948 to 1952 before becoming a fully independent artist and portrait painter. He was elected ARA in 1956, RA in 1966, but resigned in 1997 in reaction to the ‘Sensation’ exhibition, which included such artists as Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst. He was also a member of the New English Art Club and a former Vice-President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He was appointed CBE in 1985. He was also a freeman of the cities of Hereford and Canterbury, having lived in Kent for most of his career.

He exhibited at the RA, the Trafford Gallery, Agnews, the Maas Gallery, the Arthur Jeffries Gallery and had several exhibitions at Hazlitt Gooden & Fox. Retrospective exhibitions also took place at the Royal Museum Canterbury in 1987, Agnew’s in 1990, and again at Canterbury in 1997. In 1956 he painted a mural of the ‘Baptism of Christ’ for the Church of Saints Cosmos and Damian at Challock, Kent, and the village again commissioned another from him in 1999, ‘Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem’, to mark the Millennium. He pursued book illustration in his recreation and in 1999 he was commissioned to illustrate Guy Lee’s translation of ‘Ovid in Love’ for John Murray. Ward died June 14, 2007.

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