Happy Birthday, Clarance Ward!
Published by Oberlin Online on March 10, 2000. Photgraphs and text by Linda Grashoff.
He's been gone more than 25 years, but Clarence Ward will be remembered big time today as the art library hosts the first annual birthday-party remembrance of the Allen Memorial Art Museum's first director.
Reminders of Ward's birthday are throughout the library. The library staff (besides Prior and student workers, there's Paula Baymiller, administrative assistant in the art library, who's at the computer in the photo) sent notices of the celebration to 250 alumni and faculty, but everyone is welcome at the party, says Prior.
Ward (1884-1973) came to Oberlin in 1917, when he also founded Oberlin's art library and began chairing the art department. He retired in 1949. During his College tenure he and his staff regularly celebrated his birthdays.
With help from the College archives, art librarian Barbara Prior has assembled in the art library an exhibit of artifacts associated with Ward's life--including a unique birthday card. The high point of the festivities--with refreshments and party favors (see photo on today's front page)--will come at 3:00 in the Allen Art Building Student Lounge.
Barbara Prior dusts off a model of a Greek temple made with Anchor Blocks from Clarence Ward's collection. An architect himself, Ward constructed models of many buildings with the blocks, beginning when he was a child and continuing through his teaching career. Adam Smith, a senior from Almonte, Ontario, constructed this model.
The birthday card in the display is from 1947. It's signed "Paolo della Robbia." Hmm . . . Paolo . . . Paul . . . Paul in the art department . . . could it be Emeritus Professor of Art Paul Arnold?