Doughboy returns to Wentworth Military Academy Museum
By Teresa Shaw
via the Richmond News newspaper (MO) web site
Additional information from the E. M. Viquesney Doughboy Database web site
After the Wentworth Military Academy and College closed in 2017, after a court battle between the bank and the academy, and after academy alumni agree to place the original statue at the Lafayette County Courthouse, a replica of the “Spirit of the American Doughboy” was unveiled on August 20 at the Wentworth Military Academy Museum, 1128 Main St. in Lexington, MO.
“This is a $20,000, state-of-the-art replica of our Doughboy,” museum Chairman George Hittner said. “It is light enough to be on these very historic floors.”
The replica statue was constructed by computer-scanning and scaling up from one of the miniature foot-tall statuettes (which look a little different from the actual outdoor sculptures) and 3D-printed life-size in Styrofoam for a traveling WWI exhibit that began in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society.
After the exhibit ended in August of 2019, the replica needed a new home, or else it, along with the rest of the exhibit, would have ended up being dismantled and destroyed. The publishers of the E. M. Viquesney Doughboy Database suggested the Wentworth Military Academy Museum in Lexington, Missouri as a good candidate to receive the statue. Museum Chairman George Hittner of the Houston, TX, area was helpful in coordinating the fundraising efforts to pay the shipping costs of the statue from its last location in Austin.
The replica was constructed by William Maple and crew of Maple & Associates of Newbury Park, California. The bayonet was not present on the original miniature, and it was not added onto the scaled-up replica because of safety concerns and the difficulty of constructing a reproduction of a thin bayonet blade out of fragile Styrofoam.
The Wentworth Military Academy Museum is quite happy with its new acquisition.