Over the weekend I posted a picture of the Doughboy statue on the Furman Campus for Veteran’s Day. Today I had a comment posted on one of the Doughboy photos on my Flickr account. Les Kopel from Oxnard, California posted a link to a very interesting website about the sculptor, E. M. Viquesney and his creation, Spirit of the American Doughboy. The site also contains the database of Earl D. Goldsmith, who has cataloged installations of the statue from around the country.
According to the site, the original Doughboy is located in Nashville, Georgia. Furman’s statue was the second cast, but the first to be installed and dedicated on the downtown campus in 1921. The current Furman Doughboy, show in this photo, was recast in 2004 and moved to a new, more prominent location near the stadium. The original Furman statue is awaiting restoration, and will be on display at the Historical Museum of the Upstate when it opens.
In addition to the Furman installation, it looks like there are two other Doughboys in South Carolina. One is in Anderson at an American Legion Post, and the other is in Columbia on Olympia Avenue. 39 states either have or had installations of the statue, and each of these is listed on Les’s website.
The original Doughboy was quite popular right after the war, appearing in many variations. Not only was the statue copied across the nation, but there were miniatures, and even lamps and candleholders using this theme.
Viquesney also created commemorative statues for the Navy and for WWII GIs. The Spirit of the American Navy and The Spirit of the Fighting Yank are similar in appearance to the Doughboy. Like the Doughboy, these are located in communities throughout the United States.
Thanks to Les’s timely comments on my photograph, I now have a new roadtrip target. I hope to get to at least one of the other South Carolina installations for photographs sometime soon.