William E. Ward was a watercolorist “keenly interested in color and the effects that can be achieved by working with color on water-saturated paper or canvas” [from his Artist’s Statement]. He derived much of the inspiration for his work from the mountain landscapes, seascapes and skyscapes in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. He also worked with overlays of transparent acrylic on dry canvas, a category of his work he calls “liquid stripes.” Much of the inspiration for this style comes from his lengthy stay in Japan and the technique grew out of the artist’s work in calligraphy.
For 25 years, Ward taught Calligraphy and Watercolor classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Ward was with the Cleveland Museum of Art for almost 50 years. He started in the Educational and Oriental Departments and later was the Museum’s Chief Designer. His work is found in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, and The Akron Art Museum.