1926 - 2012. Willard Bond was quite simply the number-one painter of sailing action in the world. His posters and prints and his originals in oil and watercolor have won him a huge following among sailing enthusiasts and anyone who loves the excitement of the sea. Born in the Pacific Northwest, Willard grew up on Lake Cour d’Alene in Northern Idaho. He served in World War Two in the Pacific aboard battleships, cruisers and destroyer escorts. He was among the first military personnel to enter Hiroshima in occupied Japan.
Bond studied at the Chicago Art Institute, the Art Students League of New York and graduated from the Pratt Institute Art School. Bond spent 15 years ‘making the SoHo scene’ in lower Manhattan. Bitten by the Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome bug, he experimented with geodesic dome construction on the island of Jamaica for five years. He then set up his studio in the Catskills, and was a frequent visitor to Annapolis. During the 1984 America’s Cup races he sailed on Freedom in a warmup tacking duel with Liberty before the last Liberty-Courageous race. Today’s sleek racing boat designs and Willard’s artistic interpretation of them proved a perfect match. Russell Jinishian, noted marine art authority, says, “Bond created paintings, not around what the boats look like, but what it feels like to be aboard or nearby, watching them move fast. If you want to know what it is like to be in the heat of a yacht race, just take a look at a painting by Willard Bond.” His colorful and dynamic scenes of sailing action have inspired a generation of sailors.