Atchison, Kansas, Ward Lockwood became a key
painter in the Taos, New Mexico art colony, but
diverse modernist art styles including
Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and
Constructivism reflected his wide ranging
travels in Europe and the United States. From
the 1920s to the 1960s, his work embraced a
series of stylistic changes characteristic of
people who influenced him, including John Marin
and Andrew Dasburg.
studied at the University of Kansas, and from
1914 to 1917 at the Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts where he was introduced to
Modernism. In 1917, he began a two-year
enlistment in the Army and served in France,
and in 1921, a return visit to France led to
his being influenced by Paul Cezanne and
Vincent Van Gogh.
this time, he studied in Paris at the Academie
Ranson, but got bored with the academic
climate of that school and spent time at the
Louvre and galleries along the Rue de la
Boetie. He painted from local models and
traveled around France with fellow Kansan,
Kenneth Adams. He was much impressed with the
diversity of contemporary art movements
including Futurism, Cubism, and Dadaism. His
work from this period shows influences of
Geometric Abstraction* and Impressionism.
1922, he returned to Kansas, committed to the
idea that an artist does best painting in his
own culture. He worked as a commercial artist
and also did portrait commissions.
1926, he and his wife, artist Clyde Bonebrake,
moved to Taos, New Mexico because of his
friendship with Kenneth Adams, who was already
established there. Lockwood became interested
in the Taos Society of Artists, dedicated to a
mutual effort of marketing their artwork.
Major influences there for a loosening of
style were modernists Andrew Dasburg and John
Marin. Watercolor became Lockwood's preferred
medium because he felt that it gave him more
freedom of expression.
1930s, he left Taos because of his need to
make more money. He did numerous murals for
the Federal Arts Project and accepted teaching
positions at the Broadmoor Academy in Colorado
Springs and in 1938, became Chair of the
Department of Art at the University of Texas
taught at the University of California at
Berkeley and at the University of Kansas at
Lawrence. In 1940, he moved to San Francisco
and experimented with Abstraction and
Assemblage but was again in the Army during
World War II, advancing to the rank of
that, he returned to California to teach and
was much influenced by the modernist art
environment there, exhibiting with the
Abstract-Expressionist painters of the
controversial San Francisco Art Association.
He made frequent summer trips to Taos, where
he settled during his final years.
1962, Lockwood retired from teaching and
returned to Taos where he died the following
year. By the time he died, four hundred
paintings were in his estate collection.