New film highlights work of graphic novel pioneer Lynd Ward

A free screening of 217 Films’ documentary on Lynd Ward at Providence Public Library on Monday, May 21

Lynd Ward is the father of the American graphic novel and one of the most prolific book illustrators and printmakers in the history of American art.  A special screening of 217 Films’ new documentary “O Brother Man:  The Art and Life of Lynd Ward” will be held May 21 at 6:00 pm in the Providence Public Library’s Auditorium (150 Empire Street, Providence).  The screening will be introduced by filmmaker Michael Maglaras with a short discussion to follow.  Admission is free.

Get more details, sign up to attend.

Featuring more than 150 wood engravings, drawings, and illustrations by this important American artist and storyteller, the 90-minute film brings the creativity of Ward to life and illustrates his mastery of narrative without text.   Lynd Ward has been called the first graphic novelist.   His work chronicles American life in the 20th century, and demonstrates his deep personal commitment to social justice and the plight of the workingman surrounding the years of the Great Depression. The film features interviews with Ward's daughter, Robin Ward Savage.  

Clips from the film can be viewed at this link:

More about Lynd Ward:  Ward (1905-1985) illustrated more than 200 books and was among the foremost graphic book artists of 20th-century America.  His books, prints, and artwork are held by major museums and libraries worldwide. His stories without words, such as "Song Without Words: A Book of Engravings on Wood" (1930), are precursors to the modern graphic novel and are acknowledged masterpieces of that genre. Between 1929 and 1937, Ward produced six of these books, where the storyline was told entirely through wood engravings. A special two-volume edition of these works was recently released by The Library of America --

More about 217 Films:  217 Films is an independent film company founded by Michael Maglaras.  Terri Templeton is executive producer.   The Sacramento Bee called Maglaras a filmmaker of "Bergman-like gravitas." His work has been described as "virtuoso filmmaking" (National Gallery of Art) "alive and fresh" (Art New England) and "elegiac and insightful" (Naples Daily News).

Parking is available at the Providence Hilton Parking Garage, $3/3 hours.  Bring your ticket with you for validation.

Image credit:  Image from Gods’ Man, 1929. Copyright the Estate of Lynd Ward.