Ward, Lynd (1905–1985) By Fontenot, Tyler
Lynd Kendall Ward was an American artist best known for the six novels in woodcuts he created between 1929–37, though he was also an accomplished illustrator, painter, and author of over 100 children’s books. Ward was responsible for bringing the wordless novel to America beginning with his first work, Gods’ Man (1929), the first American novel in woodcuts and still perhaps the most famous work of the genre. Ward’s contributions to the form, style, and popularity of wordless novels in America and around the world are tremendous, although until recently Ward’s works have largely been neglected in both art history and literary scholarship. Recent critics and early graphic novelists who were inspired by Ward, however, have acknowledged the way in which Ward’s works consistently engaged with the central questions of American Modernism and anticipated the rise of contemporary graphic storytelling.