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Scores of people are visiting Mead's Stationery Store to see the two mammoth $15,000 historical paintings,"The Birth of the Flag" and "Ring! Ring for Liberty" by Henry Mosler, which are on exhibition there. The paintings are probably the finest that have ever been on exhibition in Greenwich.
The first painting shows Betsy Ross and three other young women engaged in making the first American flag. The coloring, lighting and perspective are wonderful.
It was Betsy Ross who made the first flag of the United States, and she made flags for the government for several years. The first flag was made in the little Arch street house in Philadelphia, which still stands; and it was ordered of Betsy Ross, in May, 1777, by a Committee of Congress, consisting of George Washington, Robert Morris and Colonel Ross. It is a scene of supreme significance to our country that Mr. Mosley has chosen for his great painting and the picture is a fitting companion for Mr. Mosler's "Ring! Ring for Liberty." In that picture the old bell ringer, in the cupola of Independence Hall, showed what the men of the Colonies had done to determine the destiny of the nation. This pairing portrays the part the women played.
Mr. Mosler has addressed himself to the subject with his accustomed intelligence and with real affection. He based his work on careful sketches made in the Betsy Ross House, and on through historical research. The scene lives for us, on the canvas, as only the genius and imagination of a great painter can replicate it.
Mr. Mosler's great painting "Ring! Ring for Liberty!" depicts, in thematic form, the moment of the making of our nation. It celebrates the way on which was announced to the world the great fact of American Independence. It is the scene of which the poet sang:
That old State House bell is silent,
Hushed is now its glamorous tongue;
But the spirit it awakened
Still is living—ever young;
And when we greet the smiling sunlight
On the fourth of each July,
We will never forget the bellman
Who, between the earth and sky,
Rung out, loudly, “Independence”;
Which, please God, shall never die!
The painter of "Ring! Ring for Liberty!" and "The Birth of the Flag" was born in New York City, June 6, 1841, and has enjoyed an artistic career of great distinction. He studied first in Cincinnati under the tutelage of James H. Beard. He served through the Civil War as a staff officer, and made many sketches and drawings of the scenes of engagement in which he took part. After that he worked for year or two in Dusseldorf, under Mucke and Kineger; also under Wagner in Munich. He spent some time, likewise, in Paris, under the instruction of Herbert. As early as 1874 Mr. Mosley won a medal at the Royal Academy of Munich, and this was followed by many medals and other prizes in Europe and America. He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1892. He won the distinction of obtaining the Thomas B. Clark prize of our National Academy of Design, in 1896, and has received many signal tokens of distinction since that time.
He came to be known as one of the leading American artists who, in addition to his masterly skill, revealed a ready sympathy for the people at a strong national feeling. This is found expression in a number of distinguished paintings of an historical and patriotic character, of which the present paintings are the most notable.
Mead's store have several fine reproductions of the paintings for sale.