Cooper Hewitt says...
William Ward Beecher (American, 1921-2006) was the son of Adolph William Beecher, a descendent of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Beatrice du Blan. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York and did not have formal training in art. In 1942, he volunteered for the U.S. Air Force. In 1943, while stationed in England, he won an art contest, then started a portfolio of drawings of fellow soldiers. In 1947, he had his first New York show at the Butler Gallery.
That year, he married Dolores Katherine Laredo. They had four children, Christopher, Dana, Robert, and Karen. The Beechers lived in New York City until 1967, then moved to Cornwall, Connecticut. They had a summer home in Strausberg, Pennsylvania.
Beecher became known as an expert in trompe l’oeil. From the 1950s through the 1980s, he was a member of Associated American Artists, which marketed a number of his works as textile designs and lithograph prints.
His artwork also appears on the cover of John Bartlow Martin’s Butcher’s Dozen (Signet, 1952), on the cover of Life magazine, in advertisements for Trans World Airlines, and on posters and wallpaper.
In 1953, Beecher was included in the Eleventh Annual Exhibition of Prints at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He also showed paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut; the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York; and the San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor.