Celebrating LIBERTY

This image by William Balfour-Ker is from the July 1918 Delineator magazine.

We were at war on July 4, 1918. Now, 94 years later we're still at war with people on the other side of the globe. It never ends and probably never will.

Liberty seems so logical to most of us, but it's not a universal language. It's too often fighting religion, greed, and political dominance. We're really always on the tipping point. So try to not go shopping for sales to celebrate the founding of this country or wave a flag mindlessly without really thinking about what it means. Don't be a good consumer. Be a good American which means respect people, stop listening to those who yell the loudest, and don't follow every fool who claims liberty is simple if you just think like they do.

As to the illustrator, an avowed Socialist, which means he dreamt of liberty for all, not just the few:
William Balfour Ker was born in Dunville, Ontario, Canada on July 25, 1877 of Scottish heritage. His mother, Lily Florence Bell, was a first cousin of Alexander Graham Bell. The Ker family immigrated to the U.S. in 1880. His early education and training are unknown. As a young man, Ker was an avowed Socialist, his art often reflecting his political beliefs. In the 1890's, he became a naturalized citizen and a student of the great illustrator Howard Pyle.
During this time he met a fellow student of Pyle's, Mary Ellen Sigsbee, daughter of Charles D. Sigsbee, captain of the USS Maine [Spanish-American War]. Politically, Mary Ellen was as far to the left as he was to the right. She and Ker fell in love, and despite her father's vigorous objections, the couple eloped in 1898. After their marriage they lived in Greenwich Village, where they worked out of a small art studio. A son, David, was born in 1906. The following year, they packed up their infant son and went to Paris to paint.
Ker's style was influenced by other Social Realists of the time, particularly Diego Rivera, who was in Paris at the same time. By the time they returned to New York a couple of years later, the marriage was failing, ending in divorce in 1910. Ker married model Josephine Phillips, with whom he had one daughter and three sons. The daughter, Yosene Ker, grew up to marry Lathrop Weld and bore him three children. The youngest was Susan Ker Weld, known to moviegoers as Tuesday Weld. The teen idol of the 1950s and '60s is the granddaughter of William Balfour Ker and Josephine Phillips. (SOURCE: Fine Old Art)  

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