William Woodward, a third-generation native Washingtonian, is among
America’s most sought-after and admired classically trained painters (the
Florentine Accademia di Belli Arti, the Corcoran School, and The American
University.) The recipient of multiple awards and commissions, Woodward’s
works have been acquired by museums, as well as scores of corporate,
public and private collections. Woodward, as director of George Washington
University’s MFA program in Studio Arts for more than thirty years, has
mentored three generations of artists in the techniques of the great
masters, and is a popular guest speaker at prestigious venues such as the
National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
Woodward has been called a "virtuoso, a painter’s painter" by Rafael
Squirru, former Cultural Director of the Organization of American States.
Benjamin Forgey, art critic of The Washington Post, observed, "
[Woodward's] paintings are alive with knowledge, translated from eye to
hand…. It’s really wonderful what he can do. His ability to draw, his
feeling for the figure in space, his understanding of dramatic situations
– his skills have kept developing in the 25 years that I’ve observed him."
The highly respected artist and TV commentator, Bill Dunlap, voiced the
opinion of many fellow artists: “I admire him and think him the best pure
painter of our generation!"
William Woodward was born in 1935 in Washington D.C., and earned
his B.A. and M.A. degrees from The American University, studying with
Ben Summerford, and part-time with the art historian Dr John Shapley at
The Catholic University of America. He was subsequently awarded a
two-year fellowship by The Leopold Shepp Foundation (1957-59) to study
in Florence, Italy at the Accademia di Belli Arti, and became a scholar
and frequent guest of the art connoisseur Bernard Berenson, at Villa I
In Washington DC, as a young man, Woodward taught at The
American University, the Sheridan School, the Madeira School, Saint
Albans School, and the Corcoran School of Art. At present, he is
Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at The George Washington University,
where he was program director for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree
for 34 years (1969-2003), numbering among his students several
generations of today’s noted contemporary artists.
- The silver
dollar minted in 1989 by the U.S Treasury, commemorating the 200th
anniversary of the U.S. Congress. Among his other awards, in 1991, the
Departement de Finistére (Brittany) awarded him First Prize in the
Concours de la Peinture en Plein-Aire. In 1995; the Society of the Four
Arts Museum in Palm Beach, FL awarded First Prize to his painting,
Avarice, in the 49th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Art.
permanent museum collections, his work can be found in the National
Gallery of Art, Corcoran Collection, Washington, DC; the John and
Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida; the Speed Museum, Lexington,
Kentucky; The Huntington Library and Museum, San Marino, California;
the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland; the
Ogunquit Museum of Fine Arts, Ogunquit, Maine; and the Katzen Museum
of Art of The American University, Washington, DC.
Some of his
important commissions are Murals in public spaces, including: The
Great Odyssey of Medicine, Fairfax, VA; The Greatest Show on Earth,
Sarasota, FL; Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, Charlottesville, VA;
Abraham Lincoln at the Soldier’s Home, Washington, DC; A Loudon County
Story, Leesburg, VA; The Memorial Day Parade, Rockville, MD; and
Idyllic Scenes, Tyson’s Corner, VA.
- Lectures & Presentations
- His recent presentations in public
venues include: What the Walls Say: Murals from Prehistory to the
Present, Smithsonian Associates Program, Washington, DC; Light and
Color in Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC;
Painting The Greatest Show on Earth, Ringling Museum, Sarasota
Florida; The Horse in Art: A History, Sporting Museum & Library,
Middleburg, VA. Other topics include: Design, Form & Structure in Art
and Nature; The Naked and the Nude; and numerous others.