"Sailor with Eagle and Dove, Life Magazine Cover"   Lot no. 3775

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By Orson Byron Lowell (1871-1956)

1914 (Estimated)
25.25" x 20.25"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right



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Cover for Life Magazine, January 1, 1914

Caption: "Which Bird?"

It’s 1914 and the world is at war, the war to end all wars. The exception is the USA. Most of the country is in an isolationist mode and wants no part of this European war. The world's air forces are not yet as important as they will become in the future, but the navy is. The painting depicts a US sailor trying to make his decision in front of onlooking warriors from the involved nations. In one hand is the war favoring bald eagle; in the other the peace loving anti war dove. Fortunately for those of us who have followed the president, Wilson led us to the right decision and Gen. Pershing brought our troops to France and proclaimed ”Lafayette we are here”.


Explore related art collections: Patriotic/Political / Military/Soldiers / Magazine Covers / $5,000 - $20,000 / 1910s / Animals / Boating/Nautical / Newly Researched

See all original artwork by Orson Byron Lowell



Orson Byron Lowell was the son of the landscape painter, Milton H. Lowell, and his father encouraged his early efforts by expecting him to draw something every day. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago classes in 1887, remaining as a student and then as an instructor until 1893, when he moved to New York to enter the illustration field.

   He found immediate success there and worked for most of the top magazines, including The Century, Scribner’s, McClure’s, The Harper’s publications, Puck, Judge, Collier’s and the Curtis magazines in Philadelphia. He also illustrated many books. In 1907 he became a member of the Life staff and was a prolific contributor for many years, often featured with humorous centerfold double-spread pen and inks.

   Lowell maintained studios in New York and in New Rochelle, and was a member of the Society of Illustrators, the Players, the Dutch Treat Club, the Cliff Dwellers (of Chicago), and the New Rochelle Art Association.