New-York Historical Society To Showcase Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” On First Stop Of International Touring Exhibition

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” On View May 25 – September 2, 2018

A new major exhibition exploring the evolution of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms from a series of illustrations into a national movement debuts at the New-York Historical Society this spring as part of an international seven-city tour.

1. Rockwell - Four Freedoms composite

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. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, on view at New-York Historical May 25 – September 2, 2018, showcases Rockwell’s depictions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want. Organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA—where the tour culminates in 2020 after traveling to five additional U.S. venues as well as Normandy, France—the exhibition illuminates the historical context for these now-iconic images and examines how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings united the public behind Roosevelt’s call for the defense of universal rights.

6. Photo of Rockwell Freedom Speech War Bond Show

Photographer unknown. Photograph of Norman Rockwell with Freedom of Speech painting at Four Freedoms War Bond Show, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum © Norman Rockwell Family Agency. All rights reserved

The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell. The Museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Rockwell’s life and work, while also preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting a growing collection of art by other American illustrators throughout history. The Museum engages diverse audiences through onsite and traveling exhibitions, as well as publications, arts and humanities programs, and comprehensive online resources.

2. Rockwell - Freedom of Speech

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Speech, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 20, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Norman Rockwell’s iconic images remind us of the significant role his work played in inspiring Americans to embrace Roosevelt’s call to protect freedom around the world,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “At the same time, Rockwell’s art underscores the enduring importance of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech. What Rockwell and Roosevelt identified as central to human dignity in the era of World War II is equally valid today. We are honored to convey this message to our visitors, and to be the first venue on the Norman Rockwell Museum’s illustrious tour.

3. Rockwell - Freedom of Worship

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom of Worship, 1943 Oil on canvas, 46” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 27, 1943. Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com 

The Norman Rockwell Museum conceived of Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms both to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Freedoms and to tell the story of how Norman Rockwell’s paintings came to be among the most enduring images in the history of American art,” said Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt. “The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view the Four Freedoms together, outside their permanent home in Stockbridge. As the steward of Rockwell’s legacy, we are thrilled to launch the exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, whose remarkable work explores the relevance of historic events to our lives today.”

4. Rockwell - Freedom from Want

Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) Freedom from Want, 1943 Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”. Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1943.  Collection of Norman Rockwell Museum ©SEPS: Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All rights reserved. http://www.curtislicensing.com

Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, which is organized into five thematic sections, features paintings, drawings, and other original artworks by Rockwell and his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs, videos, artifacts, interactive digital displays, and immersive settings, some with virtual reality elements. Continue reading