Work of early graphic novelist on display at Paterno Library

January 11, 2010

"Storyteller without Words," an exhibit of Lynd Ward's work, is on display through May 7, in the Special Collections Library in room 104 Paterno Library on Penn State's University Park campus.

Ward, who lived from 1905 to 1985, created his first graphic novel, "Gods’ Man: A Novel in Woodcuts" in 1929. This also was the first novel-length story told in wood engravings to be published in the United States. The exhibit includes prints from Ward’s graphic novels, original illustrations for both "The Silver Pony" and "The Biggest Bear," as well as the original woodblocks for Ward’s 1934 illustrations for Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s "Frankenstein," or "The Modern Prometheus," which was reproduced in 2006 in a deluxe, limited edition by Centipede Press.

Recent gifts of the work of Ward to Penn State University Libraries' Rare Books and Manuscripts are from Robin Ward Savage, daughter of the late Lynd Ward; her sister, Nanda Ward; and other members of the Ward family. This body of work enhances the Libraries' already strong holdings in fine printing, printmaking techniques, children’s books, graphic novels and original artwork for illustrated books.

The exhibit is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 814-865-1793.

At 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, in the Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library on Penn State's University Park campus, Steven Herb will speak about the influence of Lynd Ward’s work on the development of graphic novels and on the mid-20th century revolution in children’s literature in the United States. Herb is head of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Library at Penn State and director of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, sponsored in Pennsylvania by Penn State University Libraries. The talk is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the libraries' Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 814-863-4240.

  • Original gouache illustration for 'The Biggest Bear,' which won the Caldecott Medal in 1953 as the best illustrated children's book in the United States.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated November 18, 2010