Ward Jackson, a New York abstract painter and a longtime archivist at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, died on Feb. 3 in Manhattan. He was 75. The cause was congestive heart disease, his nephew Julian Jackson said. Inspired by painters like Piet Mondrian and Josef Albers, Mr. Jackson made austere, hard-edged geometric compositions, typically on diamond-shaped canvases. He first exhibited professionally in 1949, as a 21-year-old college student, and was invited by the painter and art critic George L. K. Morris to contribute to the American Abstract Artists annual exhibition. He was later included in historical surveys of American abstract painting. He had his first solo exhibition in New York at Fleischman Gallery in 1956, and exhibited regularly after that, but he had his greatest success in Germany in the 1990's.
William Ward Jackson was born on Sept. 10, 1928, in Petersburg, Va. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts from the Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary. After graduating in 1952, he studied with Hans Hofmann.
While still in college, Mr. Jackson started a correspondence with the Guggenheim Museum's director, Hilla Rebay, who offered him a job. He worked at the museum from 1955 until his retirement in 1994. In 1969, Mr. Jackson, who was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary art and artists, was a co-founder and editor of a periodical called Art Now New York, which became the Art Now Gallery Guide.