Encyclopedia Of Arkansas Minute: Sentinel Of Freedom

Jul 2, 2019

Arkansas artist Adrian Brewer was initially reluctant to accept a commission on what became his most famous painting. Little Rock insurance man Clyde E. Lowry approached Brewer about painting the American flag “when the wind had died down and the gentle folds took their natural place.” Brewer had a thriving practice painting commissioned portraits of prominent Arkansans, but ended up accepting Lowry’s offer.

The resulting painting, Sentinel of Freedom, shows the flag hanging loosely on a flagpole in a Boston Mountains landscape with rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds. It was an instant success, and Lowry sold embossed prints of the painting for three dollars each, with the frames reading “The Sentinel of Freedom stands guard over the homes of 130 million people. Though not visible from every threshold, its presence is ever felt.” Millions of copies were sold, and the original hangs at the U.S. Naval Academy.

To learn more, visit Encyclopedia of Arkansas.net