Life and career
Williams studied sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He attended Yale, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1919. He received a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard in 1922. Williams studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
He was one of a dozen sculptors invited to compete in the Pioneer Woman statue competition in 1927, which he failed to win. His model for that competition was later enlarged, cast and placed in front of the public library in Liberty, Kansas.
Williams was a recipient of a Gould Medal at the Paris Exposition in 1937. He was a member of the National Academy, past president of the Fine Arts Federation of New York, and longtime president of the National Sculpture Society. Wheeler was also the founder and president of the American Artist Professional League.
Williams also served on the jury for the Alger Hiss treason trial.
Very active in Republican circles, many of Williams' commissions reflect his conservative positions (for example the Robert A. Taft Memorial in Washington, DC).
- 1930 "Tablets to Pioneers", Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago, IL
- 1935 "Communications" West Pediment of the Environmental Protection Agency Building (formerly Interstate Commerce Commission), Federal Triangle, Washington, DC
- 1938 "Indian Bowman," United States Post Office-Canal Street Station, New York, NY
- 1942 "Settlers of the Seaboard", Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA
- 1949 "The Venus of Manhattan", Madison Avenue Facade, Parke Bernet Gallery, New York, NY
- 1951 four servicemen sculpture on the Wall of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Cambridge, England
- 1952 "Fountain of the Water Babies", Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA
- 1952 "Wave of Life", Houston Main Building (HMB) of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; was the Prudential S.W. regional office until 1974. Houston, TX
- 1955 "Robert A. Taft" plaque, Indian Hill Church Cemetery, Indian Hill, OH
- 1956 "Colonel Robert R. McCormick" bronze sculpture, Colonel's Place, Baie-Comeau, QC, Canada
- 1956 Commodore John Barry Memorial, Wexford, Ireland
- 1959 "Robert A. Taft Memorial," Capitol Grounds, Washington, DC
- 1960 "Muse of the Missouri" Fountain, Kansas City, MO
- 1961 "Spring, Summer, Fall," Memphis, TN
- "Questioning 'Modern'", August 23, 1942, New York Times
- "Petition Drive Set To Back McCarthy", November 15, 1954, New York Times
- "Hiss Offers Not Guilty Plea", December 17, 1948, New York Times
- Goode, James M. The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1974
- Gurney, George, Sculpture and the Federal Triangle, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1985
- Exhibition of Models for a Monument to the Pioneer Woman at the Chicago Architectural Exhibition, East Galleries, Art Institute of Chicago, June 25 to August 1, 1927