Nina B. Ward (1885-1942)
Miss Ward was born in Rome, Georgia, February 23, 1885. She attended the St. Louis School of Fine Arts (1905-06) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1907-12). It is very likely that she came into contact with two important artist-teachers; William Merritt Chase and Thomas Anshutz, at the latter school. Ward was awarded two traveling scholarships for study in Europe.
From 1911 to 1922, she taught in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Ohio. In 1922, she moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she taught art in the public high school until 1943. She was a devoted teacher, popular with her students, and was instrumental in the formation of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. She taught Saturday art classes for children at the Institute. Ward’s summers were spent in traveling and painting on the East coast, in Bermuda, and in Europe. Many of her works are portraits of women, although she also painted landscapes, harbor scenes, and still lifes. Modest about her paintings, she never actively sold her works. She died in Kalamazoo, Michigan on September 20, 1944
She contributed to the Pennsylvania Academy Annual Exhibitions (1911-18), to the Michigan Art Show (Detroit, 1942), and to numerous Kalamazoo shows. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has a portrait by her in its collection.
Biographical information from the exhibition catalog: Early Michigan Paintings, Michigan State University, 1976.
Information courtesy of Edward Bentley, researcher of Lansing, Michigan