STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- The Norman Rockwell Museum
announced details of the first internationally touring exhibition devoted to Rockwells iconic depictions of Franklin Delano Roosevelts Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms explores how Rockwells 1943 paintingswhich gave visual voice to Roosevelts call to the defense of freedom worldwidecame to be embraced by millions of Americans, providing crucial aid to the War effort and taking their place among the most enduring images in the history of American art. It is, in effect, the story of how the images underwent a metamorphosis from a series of illustrations into a national movement that inspired action under a common cause.
The exhibition, which provides a rare opportunity to see Rockwells images together outside their permanent home in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, will illuminate both the historic context in which FDR articulated the Four Freedoms and the role of Rockwells paintings in bringing them to life for millions of people, changing the tenor of the times. It will additionally show how the Four Freedoms paintings were the first in a sequence of works spanning three decades in which Rockwell addressed significant social concerns, from civil rights to the nations role and responsibilities at home and abroad.
Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms and its six-city tour are organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum.
Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt noted, Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms will show how Rockwells aspirational paintings shifted American attitudes towards engagement in the War in defense of the free world, and, ultimately, helped to make the case for universal human rights. In doing this, the exhibition reveals the enduring power of illustration to communicate ideas and inspire change. Moreover, in highlighting Rockwells and his generations response to the call for unity in support of these fundamental freedoms, the exhibition resonates powerfully with our own time. We are delighted to have organized Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms and are deeply grateful to our exhibition supporters, who have enabled us to develop this project, and to the five museums that will make this exhibition their own.