James Muir, an SAR member, is a renowned bronze sculptor of allegorical art from Sedona, AZ. His work is featured in universities and cultural institutions across the country, including West Point Military Academy and the Thomas Jefferson Library. Many of his works focus on military and patriotic themes.
Muir’s sculpture, Cornerstones of Freedom, is now featured in the SAR Genealogical Research Library lobby at 809 W. Main Street. It was originally completed in 1995. According to Muir’s 2004 book, Lanterns Along the Path: the Allegorical Art of James Muir, the sculpture
…symbolizes the foundation stone upon which the building of human liberty has been erected under the all-seeing eye of God. Guided by the twin figures of Liberty and Justice, the greatest documents of freedom in modern history are immortalized for all posterity
These documents include the Magna Charta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Cornerstones of Freedom was donated in 2010 by Dr. & Mrs. T. Rex Legler of the Indiana Society Sons of the American Revolution. According to Dr. Legler,
“Recognizing the ‘pen is mightier than the sword,’ our Founding Fathers took great care and deliberation in writing exactly what they meant in the clearest language possible. Being very proud of our Revolutionary War ancestors who served to give us the freedoms we have today, based upon the documents so painstakingly written by our Founding Fathers, my wife, April, and I feel the bronze sculpture, Cornerstones of Freedom, portrays for us the balance of Justice and Liberty anchored by these documents. We are pleased to donate the sculpture in our Revolutionary War ancestors' memory.”
The Revolutionary War ancestors of the Leglers are Ensign Daniel Rex (1755-1835), PA State Troops; and Sgt. Peter Luna (1760-1851), VA State Troops.
Another of Muir’s sculptures, the 8 ½-foot, 732-pound Sons of Liberty-1775, is featured in the SAR Headquarters gallery. This sculpture features a Revolutionary War minuteman, carrying a “Brown Bess” musket. It was donated by the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the American Revolution in 2009 to honor the history of the Philadelphia Continental Chapter, founded in 1901. Minutemen comprised about a quarter of the militia forces in the Revolutionary War. They were the elite of the colonial militia and were usually younger than age 25. They were the first called upon during a battle and got their name for their need to be ready at a minute’s notice. After the Continental Army was formed, the minutemen were eventually absorbed into it. In addition to the 8 ½-foot statue, a color-tinted 24 inch-high maquette of Sons of Liberty-1775 can be found in the lobby of the SAR Genealogical Research Library. It was donated by the Arizona Society Sons of the American Revolution.
The SAR encourages individuals to take the opportunity to view Muir’s works. Viewing of both Muir sculptures is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 8:00-5:00, at both locations.