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 Keith Ward  (1906 - 2000)

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Lived/Active: California/Kansas      Known for: landscape, still life, illustrator

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Ad Code: 4
Keith Ward
from Auction House Records.
Grandmother showing photographs
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
If you learned to read with Dick & Jane, thrilled by the magnificent horse illustrations in the "Black Stallion", remember Elsie the Cow, fell in love with the playful Texaco Dalmatian Pups, or know Elmer, the trademark on Elmer's Glue, then you know of Keith Ward's work.

Ward a renowned impressionist, was the gifted illustrator who painted those enduring images on the American consciousness. Like Norman Rockwell, Keith Ward is part of our "Americana"; illustrating for so many magazines and advertisements, such as "Boy's Life", "Outdoor Life", Phillips 66, Bordon Dairy Co., U.S. Steel (and many others). For more than 50 years Keith Ward has been part of our lives.

Now noted for his impressionistic "easel" paintings of landscapes and portraits, Ward thinks illustration is a good background for the fine artist. "[Illustration] teaches you how to paint in a number of different styles and how to paint different subjects," he noted. Ward's work has indeed covered a great deal of subjects - from paintings of seascapes to still lifes, landscapes to Western motifs.

His latter works were more concerned with the appearance of light on objects then with detail. His mastery of structure and color relationships, his quick and vivid perception of the essence of his subject matter are the touchstones of his success. His own comment about his work, however is simple: "I have fun. There is that inner spark of excitement with each painting. I cannot imagine myself as being bored!"

Ward died in Florida on March 23, 2000.

Paul Bingham, Chairman, Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts, Mt. Carmel, Utah

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Iola, KS on Aug. 7, 1906. Ward moved to Modesto, CA when quite young. Upon graduation from high school, he was awarded a scholarship to the CSFA where he was a pupil of Spencer Macky. His art studies were continued at the AIC and Grand Central School of Art in NYC. Most of his early career was spent in the East where he was a successful illustrator of children's books and national magazines such as Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Colliers for which he won many awards. He was also the creator of Elsie the Borden Cow and other well-known logos. Ward lived and taught in Palm Springs, CA and was active as an artist into the 1990s. He died in Georgetown, CA on April 20, 2000. An Impressionist, his work includes landscapes still lifes, marines, and portraits. Member: SWA; Silvermine (CT) Guild; Desert Art Center (Palm Springs).
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Interview with the artist or his/her family.
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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