Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward

An exhibition held at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts from May 16 - August 23, 2015.



Biographical information about Nina Belle Ward


1885 Born in Rome, Georgia, to Martha Vesta Payne Ward (c.1842-1924)

and James Pegram Ward (1837-c.1894)

by 1894 Family lives in Chattanooga, TN, after father's death

1905-06 Enrolled at St. Louis School of Fine Arts

1907-1912 Enrolled at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

1909 & 1912 Travels in Europe, June-October (PAFA Cresson scholarships)

1912-1922 Teaches at various primary and secondary schools in Bryn Mawr, PA;

Wilmington, DE; Cleveland, OH

1922 Joins Kalamazoo High School faculty

Moves her mother into her Kalamazoo house (through 1924)

1924 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is founded

1925 Teaches the KIA's first Saturday children's art classes (into the 1930s)

1930 Organizes Kalamazoo Artists exhibition

1943 Retires from Kalamazoo High School due to illness

1944 Dies in Kalamazoo, September 20. Buried in Chattanooga, Tennessee


Exhibitions & Awards

1905-06 Silver, bronze, and honorable mention for portraits, St. Louis School of Fine Arts, St. Louis, MO

1911 106th PAFA Annual Exhibition, Philadelphia, PA

1912 107th PAFA Annual Exhibition

Awarded PAFA's First (place) Toppan Prize, for landscape with water and figures

4th Exhibition: Oil Paintings by Contemporary American Artists,

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1913 108th PAFA Annual Exhibition

1914 109th PAFA Annual Exhibition (Awarded Mary Smith Prize for Elizabeth)

1915 110th PAFA Annual Exhibition

1916 6th Exhibition: Oil Paintings by Contemporary American Artists,

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1917 112th PAFA Annual Exhibition

1918 113th PAFA Annual Exhibition

1920s-40s Participates in numerous group exhibitions at the KIA, Kalamazoo, MI

1932 Fifteen Oils by Miss Nina Ward, Civic Auditorium, Kalamazoo, MI

1933 Joint Annual Exhibition for Michigan Artists and Society of Independent Artists,

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

1945 Solo exhibition of 32 paintings, KIA

1976 Early Michigan Paintings, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

1984 Kalamazoo Painters of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, KIA

2014 Beautiful Things: Still Life Paintings by American Women 1880-1940,

Olivet College, Olivet, Michigan

2014 Lasting Legacy: A Collection for Kalamazoo, KIA

2015 Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward, KIA


Return to Rediscovering Nina Belle Ward; essay by Karla J. Niehus (6/11/15)


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