One of the treasures in Centenary College’s Archives is a signed edition of Lynd Ward’s 1929 book God’s Man. Long before the graphic novel reached its current level of popularity, Lynd Ward became known for his “wordless” books illustrated with the author’s own woodcuts.
Lynd Ward was an American artist and storyteller born in Chicago in 1905. He later lived in New Jersey and attended Englewood High School. Ward was known for woodcuts, but also worked in watercolors, oils, brush and ink, lithography and mezzotint. He wrote books for children and adults. In fact, he won a Caldecott Medal in 1953 for his book, The Biggest Bear.
God’s Man was the first of six wordless books Ward published. It was released just before the stock market crash of October 1929 and went on to sell more than twenty thousand copies in the following few years.