The first internationally touring exhibition devoted to Rockwell’s iconic depictions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms launches at the New-York Historical Society in May. The traveling exhibition, which was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, explores how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want—gave visual voice to Roosevelt’s call to the defense of freedom worldwide and took their place among the most enduring images in the history of American art. In addition to Rockwell’s Four Freedoms, the exhibition encompasses numerous other examples of painting, illustration, and more, by both Rockwell and a broad range of his contemporaries, as well as historical documents, photographs, videos, artifacts, and interactive digital displays, all on the theme of the Four Freedoms, from FDR’s initial enunciation of them as a reason to enter the War to their powerful post-war legacy. A companion exhibition – Reimagining the Four Freedoms, will be on view concurrently at the Roosevelt House, Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Following New-York Historical, the exhibition travels to The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI; The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.; Mémorial de Caen, Normandy, France; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX ; and the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA.
The exhibition catalogue, Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms, is available for purchase from the NYHistory Store.
Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.
What does freedom mean to you?
For two weeks beginning on May 23, we invite you to share your hopes and expectations for freedom today on our glass entry wall on Central Park West, as part of our special art installation, “For Freedoms." This project continues the work of the For Freedoms Federation and its campaign to promote civic participation and dialogue through art.