Lynd Ward Illustration Exhibit

Stories Without Words
An Exhibit Celebrating the Art of America’s First Graphic Novelist
November 5 through December 14
The Gallery at Penn State Great Valley, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA [

Lynd Ward, the father of the American graphic novel, was one of the most prolific book illustrators and printmakers of the 20th century. Stories without Words showcases illustrations from Gods’ Man (1929), Ward’s first and most renowned “wordless novel.” 

Ward worked primarily in wood engravings, although he was also a master of lithography, watercolor, and line drawings. He produced powerful and dynamic illustrations that set new standards for communication through imagery. He illustrated more than 200 books; his books, prints, and artwork are held by major museums and libraries worldwide. Between 1929 and 1937, Ward produced six “novels without words,” in which the entire storyline was told through wood engravings. These books, including Gods’ Man and Vertigo, highlight Ward’s art, as well as his deep personal commitment to social justice and the plight of the working man surrounding the Great Depression.

To celebrate the life and times of Lynd Ward, 217 Films gave a gift to Penn State University Libraries in 2011 to start the painstaking process of digitizing Ward’s vast output contained in the Penn State collection. This exhibit, with significant materials on loan from Penn State, features works that are a part of this important digital project.

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