John Stanton Ward (1917-2007)

John Stanton Ward (1917-2007)

  • Category: Products
  • £1,250.00

  • This item is currently on display at:
    Molly and Maud's Showroom, York

Pen, ink and watercolour of Maria Korchinska drawn in her room by John Stanton Ward signed and dated 1959.

The picture measures 62.5cm by 47cm. The frame measures 77.5cm by 62cm.


John Stanton Ward CBE (10th October 1917 - 13th June 2007) 

Ward was an English portrait artist, landscape painter and illustrator. His subjects included British royalty and celebrities.

He was born in Hereford, the son of an antiques dealer. He won a place at the Royal College of Art in London in 1936. 

He served in the Royal Engineers in the Second World War from 1939, he was posted to Belgium after the war, where he met his future wife Alison Williams in Ghent. He was demobbed in 1946 and returned to the Royal college of art for one year, winning its travel scholarship in 1947.

He found work as an illustrator for the fashion magazine Vogue. When he left that post in 1952, he had built up a career as a fashionable portraitist with a penchant for glamour. The influence of the Vogue years was of lasting importance. Socially, the tip he received from the fashion photographer Norman Parkinson about how to handle models - 'Make a fuss of them. You've got to know who they are, what they smoke and whom they're in love with' - was useful advice with sitters from all walks of life for the rest of Ward's career. Artistically the graphic style he learnt by necessity - the quick, spontaneous drawing in pencil or pen and ink and watercolour, brought out his natural talent and produced some of his best and most distinctive work.

In 1962 he was invited by the queen to sketch at Balmoral and he gave the Prince of Wales painting lessons in Venice.

Fifteen of his portraits are held by the National Portrait Gallery. He became an associate of the Royal Academy in 1956 and a full member in 1966. He and three other members of the Royal Academy resigned in 1997 in protest at the Sensation exhibition of young British artists, including Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin saying 'They've been invited into Burlington House and what have they done? I'll tell you. They've taken advantage of us, written "bum" on the walls and they call it art.'

He died in Bilting, Kent in 2007, and was survived by his wife, their four sons and two daughters.


Maria Korchinska (February 1895 - 17th April 1979)

Korchinska was a distinguished 20th Century Russian harpist and one of the leading 20th Century harpists in Great Britain. 

Korchinska entered the Moscow Conservatoire to study both piano and harp in 1903 but decided to concentrate on the harp from 1907. In 1911 she won the first gold medal given to a harpist by the Moscow Conservatoire.

In 1919 she became the Professor of harp at the Moscow Conservatoire and also the principal harpist at the Bolshoi Orchestra. Maria Korchinska was a founder member of the Persimfans, the famous 'Orchestra without conductor.' She was one of the many musicians who played at Vladimir Lenin's funeral.

In 1922 Korchinska married Count Constantine Benckendorff. Her daughter Nathalie was born in 1923.

The Russian Civil war saw the confiscation of her husband's estate and conditions were extremely difficult. In 1924 the family decided to leave Russia for Great Britain.

In Great Britain, Korchinska founded the UK Harp Association and had a successful career as a soloist and ensemble player. Her son Alexander was born in England in 1926. Her portrait was taken by Norman Parkinson and is Part of the National Portrait Gallery Collection.

During WWII she travelled ceaselessly throughout the country to play. In her 1969 BBC interview 'Studio portrait' she said:

'I played ... underground in caves near Lewis, where a piano could not survive the damp. I played in cathedrals and clubs and YMCAs and several times in secret camps and aerodromes, without having the faintest idea of where I was. My life was spent in the black-out trying to find my way. I was lucky I never missed one engagement in spite of all the difficulties in transporting the harp. Several times I was given up, but arrived with my instrument at the last minute, very hot and scared because of the bombing, but able to play.

Korchinska also founded Harp Week in the Netherlands (now known as the World Harp Congress) with Phia Berghout. She practised three hours every day until her death in 1979. She taught Karen Vaughan, currently Head of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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We offer an efficient and professional delivery service around the UK and worldwide. We offer free delivery to mainland UK on items that cost over £500.

This offer does not include Wales, Devon, Cornwall and further north of Scotland than Edinburgh and Glasgow.