John Ward McClellan Biography

John Ward McClellan




John Ward McClellan was born in London, England on May 20, 1908 to American parents, Robert and Irene Ward McClellan. After receiving an early education in England, the moved back to the U.S. in 1922 and he entered prep school and later attended Yale University with the intention of becoming a doctor. In 1930, he transferred to the School of the Boston Museum, then in 1932 attended the Academie Julien in Paris, followed by working trips through France, Spain and Mexico. After France, he became involved in the Spanish conflict, but was ordered to leave.

Prior to World War II, he married Doris Dubow and they settled in Woodstock, NY in the late 1930's where he gained a national reputation, not only as a painter, sculptor and printmaker, but also mathematician and entymologist. He spent much time in the period before the war producing lithographs that were printed for him by George Miller of New York and later his son. During the war, prints were acquired by the Whitney Museum, the New York Public Library and the Metropolitan Museum, which sent examples of McClellan's on exhibition at home and abroad.

His career was deeply influenced by two incidents in his life - the horror he encountered in entering a concentration camp during World War II and his life long love of Spain and especially the poetry of Lorca. After the war, he worked as a draftsman, did writing and cartooning. McClellan continued to work in lithography and participated in the upsurge of interest in prints in the 1930's, 40's and 50's, which resulted in many more museum and gallery exhibitions and sales to private collectors.

John Ward McClellan died in Woodstock, New York in August 26 of 1986.