Ward Lockwood was born in Atchison, Kansas. He studied at the University of Kansas as well the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, from 1914-17, where he discovered Modernism.


His travels in the US and in Europe were the impetus for new ideas and styles that Lockwood explored throughout his career. He was in enlisted in the Army and served in both WWI and WWII. After each war he returned to France to study and be a part of the robust creative environment in France, mainly Paris.  Over his career he created hundreds of paintings that ranged in styles from Impressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Modernism to Abstract Expressionism. 


He moved to Taos in 1926, and was a vital part of the Taos Society of Artists, but after a few years of financial struggles he left and found economic stability by eaching and creating WPA murals. John Marin was a close friend and a mentor to Lockwood.