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Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms to travel in international tour
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Four Freedoms, 1943. Assemblage. Story illustrations for four February- March, 1943 issues of The Saturday Evening Post, Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum. ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN.

STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- The Norman Rockwell Museum announced details of the first internationally touring exhibition devoted to Rockwell’s iconic depictions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms explores how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings—which gave visual voice to Roosevelt’s call to the defense of freedom worldwide—came 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 Rockwell’s 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 Rockwell’s 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 nation’s 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 Rockwell’s 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 Rockwell’s and his generation’s 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.”

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