John Sebastian Marlow Ward (1885-1949) was an antiquarian with a difference. A Cambridge-trained historian, he gained prominence between the wars as an occult scholar and Christian mystic.
His career takes us from the Edwardian occult revival to the fringe 'Orthodox Catholic' sects of the 1930s. His unique and innovative history museum, the Abbey Folk Park at New Barnet in north London (the nucleus of the collection now at the Abbey Museum at Caboolture, Australia) fused a passion for Britain's disappearing heritage with a pentecostal conviction that the collapse of western civilisation was imminent.
Ward's story makes unexpected links between some of the most fascinating cultural developments of the period 1900-1945: from the occult revival to the interwar heritage movement and 'living history', from spiritualism and freemasonry to a Primitive Christianity grounded in the doctrine of reincarnation.
Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea. Afternoon tea will be held in E318, Forgan Smith Building.