The Solowey American Flag

On September 11, 2001, it could not have been more serene and beautiful here on the Solowey farm. Turkeys and deer roamed in the fields above the studio, and the white cat lazed in the early morning sun. Without a radio or television on, the farm can sometimes seem outside of time. At least today there is a telephone.

Ben and Rae moved from media centric Manhattan to Bucks County, where they lived seven years without running water, electricity, or a telephone. Without these "luxuries," they were shocked to learn of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt from Rae’s sister who was visiting a week after the event. It was that same solitude that allowed Ben to work without distraction to produce some of the greatest works of his career.

Ben and Rae took their civic duties seriously, and voted in each election and served on jury duty. From New York, they brought their American Flag, which they flew at times. Of course, when they came to Bucks County in 1942 to live permanently, there were only 48 states in the union. After the addition of Alaska and Hawaii, faced with the quandry of a flag in perfectly good condition, if now outdated, the Soloweys decided, rather than dispose of their flag, they would add two stars to it.

The flag continues to be displayed at all times in the Solowey farmhouse. Weather permitting, in honor of Frank Hollin’s World War II service in the Navy, we will fly the colors once again at the opening of SUI GENERIS: The Frank and Shirley Hollin Collection on October 14th.

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© 2001 The Ben Solowey Collection. All Rights Reserved.