Ward Jackson was the first archivist of the Guggenheim Museum Archives when it was formally established in 1973. A trained painter, Ward started at the Guggenheim Museum in 1955 and held numerous positions until his retirement in 1994. According to the organizational chart at right, found in the James Johnson Sweeney records, Jackson worked in the mailroom with “Mr. Flavin” in 1959.
Dan Flavin and Ward Jackson may have become friends while working in the mailroom, but their friendship lasted longer than their tenure together at the museum. In the 1971 Guggenheim International Exhibition, Flavin installed colored florescent tubing along the walls of a ramp, titled untitled (to Ward Jackson, an old friend and colleague who, during the Fall of 1957 when I finally returned to New York from Washington and joined him to work together in this museum, kindly communicated). The installation was expanded and installed along with untitled (to Tracy, to celebrate the love of a lifetime) in the Guggenheim Museum in the summer of 1992, turning the rotunda into a glowing circus of light and color.