Sculptor E.M. Viquesney and his two best-selling creations, "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" and the "Imp-O-Luck".
''The Lamp that Launched a Website''.
Les Kopel, Oxnard, California
Les Kopel, Webmaster
Hello, and welcome to the third incarnation of the Viquesney Doughboy Database.
On this website, researcher Earl Goldsmith and I have documented every known location of E.M. Viquesney's World War I memorial, "The Spirit of the American Doughboy". Whether you're looking for someone to repair your city's Viquesney Doughboy, or you're a student whose history teacher has given you what seems to be an impossible essay assignment on that "old WWI soldier statue" on the Courthouse lawn, or you're just generally interested, Earl and I invite you to browse through our files.
This Website originally appeared as "Grandma Quater's Spirit of the American Doughboy Lamp", and was primarily concerned with the miniature creations of sculptor Ernest Moore "Dick" Viquesney (1876 - 1946). When I first published the site in March of 2002, I could hardly have imagined a more narrow-focus subject than an obscure little lamp by a nearly-forgotten sculptor. But since that time, this site has won a medal, been featured in the Indianapolis Star and Coastal Antiques & Art magazine, and I have received emails from individuals all over the country, including relatives of the original people involved with this story. Walter Rylander, the son of the original Walter Rylander who temporarily owned the Doughboy company for four years, wrote to me, detailing how the Doughboy lamps and statuettes were once manufactured in the building in Americus, GA, that once housed his father's Ford dealership (it's now the headquarters of Habitat for Humanity). And Sharon Riffle, a descendent of the sculptor's grandfather, wrote, saying: "You have put enough of yourself into the E. M. Viquesney history as if you had French Viquesney blood flowing through your veins... "
I can't imagine a finer compliment.
Les Kopel, Webmaster
January 21, 2010
Earl D. Goldsmith, The Woodlands, Texas
Earl D. Goldsmith
The first order of business on this site is for me to express my thanks to Les Kopel of Oxnard, California for his gracious willingness as Webmaster to undertake the work needed to present this material online. Les and I have had very frequent contact since early 2002. Having been on an active quest for information about E.M. Viquesney's “Spirit of the American Doughboy” for a few years by the time of our first contact, I was able to provide some information about a 12-inch Viquesney Doughboy table lamp in his possession. While I continued to be able to help him with information as our contacts continued, it reached the point some time ago where his capabilities to search the Internet and perform other research on the topic has resulted in his being of far more help to me than vice-versa. That’s particularly been true about locating Doughboys I hadn’t discovered. Now, his willingness to manage this site has enabled the information I’ve collected to be disseminated on a wide basis. It wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t have been for Les, and I’m grateful to him for that.
I’ve personally been to many Viquesney Doughboy locations, including two of the three known stone Viquesney Doughboys, five of the seven with companion “Spirit of The American Navy” sculptures, including the stone one at Crowell, Texas, two of the four with Walter Rylander copyrights (he's explained later on), the original Viquesney Doughboy (in Nashville, Georgia), the Americus, Georgia and Spencer, Indiana, Doughboys, and the New Ulm, Minnesota replacement.
Les Kopel has visited a few that I haven't, including the one in Kingrman, Arizona. I've also visited Viquesney's gravesite in Spencer, Indiana.
I've collected color photos of all Viquesney Doughboys and companion Navy sculptures that are known to exist, and most of those were taken either by or for me.
Viquesney Doughboy Researcher
Earl D. Goldsmith:
Viquesney Miniatures Researcher
Site Manager and Editor