John S M Ward

Owner of Abbey Folk Museum and Universal Spiritualist

Father John Ward was an unconventional man, who established the Abbey Folk Park in 1934, which would be later known as the Abbey Art Centre. After teaching in England he went to Burma as headmaster of the Anglican Diocesan Boys School, Rangoon. He had a passion for collecting things and It is here in Burma and also in India that he collected Buddhist and Hindu statues, religious items, jewellery and weapons from antique dealers and local traders. He had an extremely good eye and some of the most interesting pieces in the Tibet collection at Liverpool came via Father Ward.

See Geoffrey A. C. Ginn, 'An Ark for England: Esoteric heritage at J. S. M. Ward’s Abbey Folk Park, 1934-1940', in Journal of the History of Collections vol. 22 no. 1 (2010) pp. 129–140, which gives a full and very interesting account of Ward and the Abbey Folk Park.
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