"Sunbathing" Black Duck Lemuel T. Ward (1896-1983) Crisfield, MD, 1966 13 in. long
This preening black duck is among the Ward Brothers' finest decorative carvings. Indeed, a two-page letter from Lem to his friend and patron Dr. Morton Kramer addresses Lem's strong feelings regarding this work. The writing states: “Morty the purpose of this note to you is this. Should Nothing unforseen happen, I will finish the Black duck today. I am speaking about the one I started for the ‘Shelburne Museum.' As I told you before if I ever had a good piece of work, I mean work that I feel that I cannot improve on, I would give you first choice. Well this is one of them…” He continues, “But if I had a little money you or no other man would ever own this duck, I have to do it this way to exist.”
The burl base is titled "SUNBATHING" and has a painted signature "L. T. WARD CRiSFiELD, MD -1966-." Original paint with minimal wear. Corner of wooden base is loose.
Provenance: Dr. Morton Kramer Collection, acquired from the artist Private Collection, Maryland, acquired from the above
Literature: Glenn Lawson and Ida Ward Linton, "The Story of Lem Ward," Exton, PA 1984, p. 113, exact carving illustrated.
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