A new patron and a lifelong friend
ASHFORD Art Society welcomed new patron, actress Joanna Lumley, to their 50th anniversary meeting.
It was an appropriate invitation as the evening featured a lecture on the work of John Ward, given by the society’s chairman David Embry.
Miss Lumley modelled for Mr Ward and had remained a friend for many years.
Renowned artist Mr Ward founded the society and remained its president until his death in 2007.
The range of his work was shown on slides at the meeting, as well as a number of paintings and drawings on view.
Joanna Lumley spoke about modelling for Mr Ward and of her lasting friendship.
Everyone shared a special birthday cake to mark the society’s golden anniversary and the meeting concluded with the presentation of a John Ward print to Miss Lumley.
A watercolour of the actress, which was painted in 1968 by Mr Ward, is currently taking centre stage in Maidstone Museum’s exhibition to celebrate its 150th birthday.
The picture, in pencil and col- our wash, shows Miss Lumley at 22, smoking a cigarette.
Mr Ward’s son, George, a writer for the KM Group, said: “This was painted while Joanna was doing rep at the Marlowe in Canterbury.
“She was friends with the Armitage family in Godmersham, who had been partly responsible for our family moving to Godmersham in 1958.”
“Both were great letter writers and lifelong friends.
“She came to as many private views as she could, and bought many pictures.”
The painting of Joanna Lumley, at 22, by John Ward on display at Maidstone Museum
Joanna Lumley was a lifelong friend of John Ward