William Woodward (born March 11, 1935) is an American painter and muralist from Washington, D.C. He is known for his mural commissions throughout the United States and a number of his pieces are in the permanent collections of major museums.
Woodward is a third-generation native of Washington, D.C. Woodward’s father and grandfather were both artists. His father, Thomas Edwin Woodward, was a commercial artist. His paternal grandfather, Edwin Ashley Woodward, was a sign painter of large billboards, restaurant murals, and circus posters and signage. Edwin Woodward also created the first iconic Coca-Cola logo.
In 1952, Woodward was admitted to American University on the Mary Graydon academic scholarship. He earned his BA and MA degrees from American University, where he studied with Sarah Baker, Ben Summerford, and Robert Gates. He also studied at The Catholic University of America with the art historian John Shapley. He was subsequently awarded a two-year fellowship from The Leopold Schepp Foundation (1957-59) for independent study abroad. He used this fellowship to study in Florence, Italy, at the Accademia di Belli Arti. While studying in Florence, he became a frequent guest of the art historian and art connoisseur Bernard Berenson, at Villa I Tatti.
In Washington DC, Woodward taught drawing at the Sheridan School, American University, Madeira School, Saint Albans School, and the Corcoran School of Art. At present, he is Professor Emeritus of Fine Art at George Washington University, where he was program director for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree for 37 years (1969-2006). During his tenure at GWU he directed the overseas summer study program in Brittany, France for many years. He mentored several generations of artists in the materials and techniques of the Old Masters. Many of his former students became noted contemporary artists.