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Cat. no. 66-01

The Minute Men

Date: 1966
Item Type: Painting
Support: Artist Board
Owner: 120 Fighter Squadron
Dimensions: 48 X 60


The Minutemen. 48 x 60, artists board.

In 2002 Wilson wrote to Ellen Williams, widow of Walt Williams, the
owner of the painting. She asked Wilson to sign the piece before she
sent it to the National Guard Association of the United States in
Washington, D.C. Wilson wrote:

This letter will certify that
I painting the picture Walt had of the Minutemen in formation. I
realized it is unsigned. It was done while I was a pilot in the 188th
Squadron, which was part of his wing. During that time, I was
practicing law but did a number of large works for our outfits, many
of which still hang down here in the 150th fighter wing. At the time
they were done, they were rough daily decoration of operating military
organizations, and I had not yet closed my law practice and spent the
many years necessary to become a professional artist. As a matter of
fact, my written signature as it appears on my present work was not
used on any of the paintings I created at the time I painted the
Minutemen, and only exists on those works created with far different
intentions on my part than were those efforts. Therefore, although I
have been solicited to do so, I have repeatedly refused to sign these
early works. Because I was such a close friend of Walt's and therefore
I am of yours, I will be specific on why I have refused. In the past I
was careless on several occasions and "up-dated" works I had completed
25 years earlier. The persons for whom I did this appreciated it, but
the facts are that as the years passed the ownership changed and I
have had the misfortune to go into openings in galleries and find
these works intermingled with my professional works. I felt that the
dealers, by doing this, were perpetrating a deception on the
purchasers. It was then that I decided to let all my works stand as
they were completed and not make subsequent adjustments. I hope that
this explanation eases the effect of my decision. Perhaps it would be
a good plan to tape this letter to the back of the work so its
provenance will be clear.

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