John Ward RA

I called in on the Maas Gallery to see his exhibition of John Ward and the East Kent School. Ward was a deliberately conservative artist, interested in the primacy of drawing. He resigned from the RA at the time of the Sensation exhibition; but I’ve always liked and admired his work ever since he was asked to make a record of the Royal Opening of the NPG’s Ondaatje Wing and appeared at very short notice with his easel, assistant and in his overalls and set up to paint several very lively oil sketches in situ in the middle of the crowd. Alongside Ward’s work are drawings by John Sergeant, a friend and protegé of Ward’s and a fellow member of the so-called East Kent School. He was a student of the Royal Academy Schools in the late 1950s and there is a portfolio of vigorous drawings of the Life Room as it was then and is now:-

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This is Ward in a painting by Paul Wyeth, a fellow student at the RCA:-

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And this is a photograph of John Sergeant:-

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