(1836 - 1918)

Archibald MacNeal Willard (August 22, 1836–October 11, 1918) was an American painter who was born and raised in Bedford, Ohio.[1]

Willard joined the 86th Ohio Infantry in 1863 and fought in the American Civil War. During this time he painted several scenes from the war, and forged a friendship with photographer James F. Ryder. Willard painted The Spirit of '76 in Wellington, Ohio after he saw a parade pass through the town square.[2]

Willard's most famous work is The Spirit of '76 (previously known as Yankee Doodle) which was exhibited at the Centennial Exposition. The original is displayed in Abbot Hall (Marblehead, Massachusetts) as Williard painted several variations of the now-famous scene. Another original variation of the work by Williard hangs in the United States Department of State. Of note, he used his father as the model for the middle character of the painting. Willard painted three murals in the main hall of the Fayette County, Ohio courthouse in Washington Court House, Ohio: "The Spirit of Electricity", "The Spirit of Telegraphy", and "The Spirit of the Mail".

Willard is buried in Wellington, Ohio at the Greenwood Cemetery.[3]

There is a street in Bedford, Ohio named Willard Drive and also in nearby Garfield Heights, there is a street named Willard Avenue.

The title of the painting is referred to in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse Five in a scene in which Billy Pilgrim, the main protagonist, walks through a POW camp near Dresden about a month before it was fire-bombed by the Allies. Billy is thus described: "Billy was carrying his little coat as though it were a lady's muff. It was wrapped around and around his hands. He was the central clown in an unconscious travesty of that famous oil painting, The Spirit of '76."


1.    ^ "FOXNews.com - Ohio Town Develops Own 'Scent-Sibility' - Celebrity Gossip"Fox News. 2006-11-26. Archived from the original

 on 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-05.

2.    ^ Arndt, Ursula; Giblin, James (2001). Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags: The Story of the 4th of July Symbols. New York: Clarion Books. pp. 41–43. ISBN 0-618-09654-X.

3.    ^ Vigil, Vicki Blum (2007). Cemeteries of Northeast Ohio: Stones, Symbols & Stories. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59851-025-6

External links

§  Ohio Historical Society Online

§  Spirit of '76 Museum

§  The Spirit of '76 Museum (Official Site)


Source: Wikipedia
Contributed by Anonymous
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