Lynd Ward papers , 1946-1962

Overview of the Collection

Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985
Lynd Ward papers
1946-1962 (inclusive)
0.5 linear feet, (1 container)
Collection Number
Ax 724
Lynd Ward was an artist and children's book author. The Lynd Ward Papers comprise incoming and outgoing correspondence to and from Carley Dawson, and outgoing correspondence to a Mr. Rohde. The collection also includes various notes, correspondence, manuscripts, sketches, copies of sketches, and illustrations for books, magazines, and brochures that Lynd Ward illustrated.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Lynd Kendall Ward, wood engraver, illustrator, and children's book author, was born in Chicago in 1905. He graduated from high school in Englewood, New Jersey, and attended Teacher's College at Columbia University where he majored in fine arts. At Columbia, he met May McNeer and married her in June 1926. They traveled to Europe on their honeymoon and arrived in Leipzig, Germany where Lynd studied wood engraving at the Academy of Graphic Arts under Hans Alexander Mueller. He returned to the United States and embarked upon a career in illustration. In 1929, he published his first wordless novel, Gods' Man, which was the first work of its kind published in the United States. Over the next decade, he printed several more novels featuring his wood engravings. All of them critiqued the greed of the capitalist system and the economic disaster it had imparted upon the world. In 1929, Lynd also illustrated his first children's book, Prince Bantam, which was written by his wife. The outstanding illustrations created by Ward elevated the job of illustration into an art form. During the later years of the Great Depression, Ward served as the Director of the graphic arts division of the Federal Art Project in New York City, but illustration became his primary profession. He illustrated over 100 books during his lifetime, including Newbery Medal winners Johnny Tremain and The Cat who went to Heaven. Lynd Ward's greatest success came in 1952 when he won the Caldecott Medal for the book he wrote and illustrated, The Biggest Bear. Over his career, Lynd won the Zella de Milhau prize, the Library of Congress award for wood engraving, and the silver medallion from University of Southern Mississippi. Ward was respected by his peers. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators and served as President of the Society of American Graphic Design from 1953-1959. Lynd Ward died in 1985 from Alzheimer's disease two days after his 80th birthday

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Lynd Ward Papers is divided into two series. Series I contains correspondence, both incoming and outgoing. The incoming correspondence is from Carley Dawson. The outgoing correspondence to Carley Dawson are photocopies of original letters which are housed in the Carley Dawson Collection. Series II, Illustrations and Production Notes contains original illustrations by Ward as well as manuscripts, correspondence and material related to the subject. The series is arranged alphabetically by the author or commissioner of Ward's illustrations. In regards to the illustrations, the collection contains published works ("North Star Shining"), rough sketches, color proofs, color guides, and dummies.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Authors, American--20th century
  • Children's literature, American
  • Illustrators--United States
  • Wood-engravers--United States

Personal Names

  • Dawson, Carley, 1909-2005
  • Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985

Form or Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Illustrations