SKU: A01769 Category:


Description: Included in this collection are eight autograph letters signed (15 pages total) by Lynd Ward and two typed letters signed by Lynd’s wife May. All are addressed to friend and writer/editor/publisher Henry Hart. They delineate a deep friendship that lasted four decades. In these letters, Ward emerges as an attentive and compassionate friend who also honored Hart’s editorial skills. The eight other items accompanying the letters:  brochures, exhibition catalog, periodical, memorial booklet, illustrated greeting card, etc. also speak to the intimacy and interests the two families shared.

Unlike the deluded artist of his wordless novel, Prelude, Lynd’s earlier (wartime) letters (1942-43) are conscious of the “[struggles] in the current climate.” He is “punching the time clock at the Bendix Plant… working in the gyroscope assemble department and learning the fundamentals. . . ,” his contribution to “this business of fighting the war.” He sees himself as much “the outsider” as Hart, who is taking the Officer’s exams, would be in the Army. He comments that the Artists League is struggling financially and that Rockwell Kent attended the last meeting. We learn that Ward was the best man at Hart’s wedding, that their families, along with their children, spend vacations together, that Hart’s gift–an annual subscription of The New Yorker–is “a securing reminder of the great good fellowship that underlies its weekly presence in [their] home.” Ward’s compassionate letter [1978] to Hart also reveals Hart as a kind-hearted man who agonizes over his sister’s long-suffering predicament at “not having heard from him [unclear who?] over a long period of time.” A signed postcard with a Lynd Ward illustration and note–“Dear Henry, We hope the enclosed [directions] will get you here safely and without complications – See you Tues.”–accompany a printed copy of a delightfully drawn map and directions to the Wards’ home in Cresskill, N.J.

The letters also show that he was friendly with the printmaker and illustrator Rockwell Kent and the satiric cartoonist Art Young. In one letter (1950), Ward writes reassuringly that he and his wife May agree that the rights to the Ferdinand Lundberg book (Imperial Hearst, Equinox, 1936) were assigned to [Hart] by Equinox at the time of its dissolution. . .” and that Lundberg owed a “greater debt to [Hart] for making his book readable and usable and worth publishing.” He sends a long-delayed copy of the “Special Lynd Ward Issue” of Bibliognost, the Book Collector’s Little Magazine to Hart with a note surmising the actions of Mr. Carbonneau, its editor (1976). Wards sends A Souvenir Journal for his father, Harry F, Ward’s  90th Birthday Anniversary (1963) to Hart. The file also includes a copy of the magazine Wings (The Literary Guild of America, Inc. 1930) profiling Lynd Ward; a Lynd Ward illustration “Greetings! 1933” on japanese paper; the inaugural brochure (1969) for the United Methodist Building, 1200 Davis Street, Evanston, IL, for which Ward painted three murals; a catalog for Lynd Ward Wood Engravings exhibition (Association of American Artists) with a Foreword by Linclon Rothschild (1974); Bibliognost signed copy (1976); Ward’s sister, Muriel Ward’s, memorial proceedings booklet with a Ward cover illustration; and a postcard that says “We hope the enclosed will get you you here safely and without complication” and an accompanying printed copy of hand-drawn directions to the Wards’ home in Cresskill, NJ.

Six of the eight ALS’s  are written on ivory “ Lynd Ward” imprinted stationery, no larger than 8 ½” x 11,” bearing two different addresses: Palisades, N.J. and Cresskill, N.J.

The two May Ward typed letters are on ivory, 8 ½” x 5 ½” “May McNeer Ward” imprinted stationery. Item #A01769

Lynd Kendall Ward (1905-85) was a well-known illustrator, graphics artist, and author. His wordless novels (Gods’ Man, Prelude to a Million Years, etc.) have influenced the development of the graphic novel. He also was the founder of Equinox Cooperative Press. He was greatly influenced by German expressionism while studying with Hans Alexander Mueller at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig 1926-27. His socially conscious works influenced the graphic storyteller, Art Speiglman, and the poet, Allen Ginsberg. He was a member of the Society of Illustrators, a member and President of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), and the National Academy of Design. His wife May Ward was a journalist and writer.

Henry Hart was an American writer (Dr. Barnes of Merion, 1963) and publisher who worked as Publicity Director for Scribner’s Sons, Editor-in-chief of Putnam’s Sons, an Associate Editor of Time and Fortune, the founding member and first editor of Films in Review and a founding member of Equinox Cooperative Press. He edited the American Writer’s Congress (1935) and was responsible for the English-translation publications of Thomas Mann’s works.

Condition: Mailing fold lines, one letter has two water drops which blur a few letters of text, one letter has scattered foxing. Generally very good condition and quite readable. The miscellaneous magazines, booklets and brochures are also in very good condition.