Art Library > Art Library Exhibitions > Clarence Ward: Architect, Professor, Pastor

Clarence Ward: Architect, Professor, Pastor

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The Art Library celebrated Clarence Ward's birthday in 2012 with an exhibition and party.

Exhibition: Clarence Ward: Architect, Professor, Pastor

Curated by Kay Showalter, Julia Pressman, and Anna Feuer

Clarence Ward was a practicing architect, beloved professor, local pastor, and researcher. The exhibition explored these and other facets of his life.


Ward and college photographer Arthur ("Pinky") Princehorn traveled throughout Europe between the world wars, documenting medieval churches and cathedrals. The photographs are still an important resource for scholars:

"The Clarence Ward archive of photographs of medieval buildings is an immensely important source for high quality images of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. To many students and scholars, these photographs will already be familiar from Jean Bony's book on Gothic Architecture in France, as well as other scholarly publications. Clarence Ward looked at, and photographed, buildings with the eye of an architectural historian, so that his pictures are especially valuable for the history of construction technique and architectural design. Moreover, a good proportion of the photographs were taken before the destruction wrought by World War II."

Anne M. Cogan Professor of Art History at Duke University

The negatives are now at the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.) who has digitized the collection; it is available in ARTstor.

Photographs of medieval churches taken by Prof. Ward and college photographer "Pinky" Princehorn


Clarence Ward designed buildings in Oberlin and elsewhere, as evidenced by his architectural model of the still extant East Oberlin Community Church.

From left to right: Construction photos and the early years of East Oberlin Community Church; Pastor Ward's copy of his last sermon; A model of the church (designed by Ward).

Pastor & Professor

Ward was a founding member and pastor of the East Oberlin Community Church, serving until retirement from Oberlin College. The exhibit included mementos from his ministry, such as his Minister’s License, church service bulletins, baptismal certificates, sermons and even Clarence holding an ice cream cone at a church social.

Prof. Ward was much loved and known for his sense of humor.   Many of his students went on to become architectural historians themselves. A portion of Ward's Anchor Stone Building set was included in the collection. Ward used this popular construction toy for class demonstrations.

Back row: Construction photos, 1937 Art Museum classroom addition (designed by Clarence Ward)

Second row: Pass for museums, monuments and galleries in Rome, (1907); A painting class (ca. 1940s) Third row: Opening, "Exhibition of American Paintings", Amritsar, Punjab, India, (1956); The Ward's toured Mexico by car in 1940; Invitation to a lecture by Clarence Ward, "Exhibition of American Paintings" at the P.t. Moti Nehru Minicipal Library, Amritsar, Punjab, India (1956).

Last updated:
May 09, 2018