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Spirit of the American Navy by E. M. Viquesney
Five years after his success with “The Spirit of the American Doughboy,” artist E.M. Viquesney created this sculpture, “The Spirit of the American Navy” with its first U.S. installation in November, 1927. “Sailorboy” was meant to be a companion to the 135-plus “Doughboy” sculptures. When sales were slow after eight stamped sheet copper editions had been created, production stopped. This copy was discovered in an antique store in Pennwater, Michigan. Its owners had purchased him from a Chicago junkyard in the early 1900’s. No record exists of this sculpture even being permanently erected in any location. Now our “Sailorboy” stands tall, waving to his WWI companion across Burlington Square Park in joint remembrance of service in the “War to End All Wars.”

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Title: Spirit of the American Navy

Artist: E. M. Viquesney

Location: Burlington Park, Naperville, IL

Medium: sculpture

Creation Date: 1927

Installation Date: 2013

Installation Story: The Naperville Municipal Band played “Anchors Away” on October 13, 2013 as Ernest Moore Viquesneys “ Spirit of the American Navy” was unveiled and dedicated as the 44th art piece in the Naperville Century Walk. This very limited edition sculpture is in keeping with the century walks mission to create culturally significant and diverse public art throughout Naperville. While funding was being arranged for construction of the Plaza and base for the sculpture, the Spirit resided at the Judd Kendall VFW post 3873. In typical Naperville can do spirit, $73,000 was raised from individual contributions, the City of Naperville, the Century Walk Corporation, the Naperville Park district and a lot of help from the Naperville Garden club.

Description: Five years after his success with “The Spirit of the American Doughboy,” artist E.M. Viquesney created this sculpture, “The Spirit of the American Navy” with its first U.S. installation in November, 1927. “Sailorboy” was meant to be a companion to the 135-plus “Doughboy” sculptures. When sales were slow after eight stamped sheet copper editions had been created, production stopped. This copy was discovered in an antique store in Pennwater, Michigan. Its owners had purchased him from a Chicago junkyard in the early 1900’s. No record exists of this sculpture even being permanently erected in any location. Now our “Sailorboy” stands tall, waving to his WWI companion across Burlington Square Park in joint remembrance of service in the “War to End All Wars.”

Plaque Courtesy Of: SECA

History Behind Art: World War I, which had been known as a war to end all wars, found many American men serving in the military in Europe. The soldiers were affectionately known as doughboys. The sailors as sailor boys. To honor the bravery and sacrifices of these American men, EJ Viquesney created three sculptures. The first of his sculptures is located just across the way, and is known as the Spirit of the American Doughboy. That first Spirit sculpture which consisted of 135 copies was donated or sold to communities across the country. Naperville acquired its doughboy in 1926. After his success with the doughboy sculpture, Viquesney created two new life size World War I tributes, which he named the “spirit of the American Navy” and “sailor”. Both sculptures sold poorly and only seven copies of the Spirit of the American Navy and one Sailor are known to exist, although it is believed that eight sculptures were in the edition. They are located in Kingman Arizona Fort Wayne Indiana Granite and Hobart Oklahoma Crowell, Texas and Florida has the spirit of the Page 2 of 3 American Navy in Clearwater and the lone “sailor” in Palatka . All of the sailorboy sculptures are on display with his doughboy buddy nearby.

 

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