An Artist in the Family
Navajo Woman
Navajo Woman with Basket
Navajo Man

The Ward family had a very talented artist in the family who was the cousin of Edwin Waldo Ward, Jr. - the second generation to run the marmalade company. Her name was Beatrice Trowbridge Ward and she was born on February 17th, 1897. Her father was the brother of the founder. She and her family moved from New York to California when she was a child. She attended the Pasadena public schools and then went to the Stickney School under Jean Mannheim, Otis Art Institute under Richard Miller, and was a sketching partner of Elizabeth Borglum. 

By the time she was 16 years old, she was a commercial poster artist for the Grauman's Chinese Theater; painting posters for billboard and newspaper ads. She also worked for Warner Brothers Studio and had her own studio. She specialized in portraits and painted in oil. She would travel to the Navajo Indian reservations and did many portrait and landscapes of them.

Bea captured the human figure and the brilliant colors of many landscapes of the West and established her as one of the leading artists of Western North America. When asked about her native American paintings, she responded with “What could offer the most color for painting the human figure?”

She won many awards throughout her career and exhibited in such galleries as the Pasadena Art Museum, the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Friday Morning Club in Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Fine Arts Gallery, as well as one woman shows in several women’s clubs and libraries.

By 1932 she was the wife of Adolph Kelterborn and later in life of Murdo McIvor.  Bea was a member of the American Institute of Fine Arts, Las Artistas, Women Painters of the West, and the San Gabriel Fine Arts Association. She died in Arcadia, California on May 3, 1991.

Source: The Lens Magazine, April 1973/Edan Hughes, author of the book "Artists in California, 1786-1940"


JC House Painting

Date 8/3/2023

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