The E.M. Viquesney Doughboy of Belmar
Backstory and Context
There are over 300 "Spirit of the American Doughboy" statues by french sculptor E. M. Viquesney throughout the United States, and eight in NJ, to include this one in Belmar. The memorial reads “1914-1918 – Dedicated in honor of those who entered the service of their country from Belmar, New Jersey and in memory of those who gave their lives in the world war – Presented by citizens of Belmar, New Jersey” On the back of the memorial, it lists 102 names of those who died in the war.
Viquesney’s statues represent all the young men who participated in the war. The doughboy is seen holding up his hand in the air, with his right leg back and his left leg forward to show movement. This posture is exceedingly similar to the famous Statue of Liberty. However, no one knows if this was done on purpose, or coincidence.
In June of 2017, the Belmar Doughboy was vandalized. Locals galvanized to raise funds for repairs, which totaled about $17,000. The sculpture was repaired by July 2018.