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.