Obituary: Ward Ford Schumann

Ward Ford Schumann
Provided Photo
Ward Ford


May 18, 1926 – January 9, 2021

Ward Ford Schumann died on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at age 94. Born in Montclair, N.J. on May 18th, 1926, he was the youngest child of Florence Ford Schumann and John Joseph Schumann Jr. Prior to graduation from Deerfield Academy in 1944 he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force – serving two years prior to entering Williams College, Williamstown Mass. He graduated from Williams in 1950 with a B.A. in music.

His first employment was in the Music Library of the American Broadcasting Company in New York City. However, the attraction of a career as a fine arts painter found him shortly thereafter studying at the Arts Students League of New York. Within two years he became an instructor and lecturer at Bloomfield College, Montclair Academy and the Montclair Art Museum. He retains a Life Membership in the Art Students League of New York. His paintings and sculptures were exhibited at Highgate Gallery, Upper Montclair; Highgate Gallery, NYC. His works also were exhibited at the Audubon Artists (National Academy); Monmouth College; Bloomfield College; Centenary College for Women; State Annuals at Montclair Art Museum and Trenton; International Artists Seminar, Newark Museum and Grippi-Waddell Gallery, NY.; and the Central Services Building, New Haven, Conn. His paintings and sculptures are represented in private collections in New Jersey, Connecticut, Colorado, and New York City, as well as in the private collections of Monmouth College and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. In the spring of 1972 the Montclair Art Museum opened its galleries to an exclusive showing of his works along with those of two other local artists, Tom Vincent and Kenneth Richards.

Shortly thereafter he departed New Jersey and took up residence in Aspen, Colorado, where he showed his art locally at the Patricia Moore Gallery. He joined the board of trustees of the Music Associates of Aspen, operators of the Aspen Music Festival and School. During the early 1980s he chaired its board of trustees. In 1980 he married Susan Harrison and together they endowed a program at the Aspen Music Festival and School known as the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies, including the residency of one or two prominent American composers, and an adjunct program in film scoring.

Since the mid 1950s he had served on the board of a family foundation, established by his parents, and is currently known as the Schumann Media Center. In past years he and his now deceased brother, Robert, served as Co-Chairmen. A program at Williams College has been established in his name called the W. Ford Schumann Visiting Professor in Democratic Studies.

Surviving members of the family include his wife Susan, sons John Jay Schumann and Richard Schumann, daughters Elizabeth S. Racine and Margaret F. Schumann, plus three step-children and eight grandchildren. Interment will be private.