Celebrating the Four Freedoms and life works from Rockwells life.
Author, painter and illustrator, Norman Rockwell is a artisan who depictied Americas culture. His works are widely popularized on a broad scale and is known for his paintings such as the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, The Problem We All Live With, and Saying Grace. But the most noteable and impactful work is his Four Freedoms series.
In a period where America needed to regain its hope, the Four Freedoms were a reminder of what America stands for during World War II. It also convey the universal human rights that should be protected. The series to this day resides in the Norman Rockwell Museum of Art as tourists and locals alike observe Rockwells paintings.
The Four Freedoms
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech is the first of the Four Freedoms paintings by Norman Rockwell that were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms, which he delivered on January 6, 1941.
Freedom of Speech depicts a scene of a local town meeting in which Jim Edgerton, the lone dissenter to the town selectmen's announced plans to build a new school, was accorded the floor as a matter of protocol. The old school had burned down. Once he envisioned this scene to depict freedom of speech, Rockwell decided to use his Vermont neighbors as models for a Four Freedoms series. Edgerton is shown "standing tall, his mouth open, his shining eyes transfixed, he speaks his mind, untrammeled and unafraid."
Freedom from Want
The painting was created in November 1942 and published in the March 6, 1943 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. All of the people in the picture were friends and family of Rockwell in Arlington, Vermont, who were photographed individually and painted into the scene. The work depicts a group of people gathered around a dinner table for a holiday meal. Having been partially created on Thanksgiving Day to depict the celebration, it has become an iconic representation of the Thanksgiving holiday and family holiday gatherings in general.
The painting shows an aproned matriarch presenting a roasted turkey to a family of several generations, in Rockwell's idealistic presentation of family values. The patriarch looks on with fondness and approval from the head of the table, which is the central element of the painting. Its creased tablecloth shows that this is a special occasion for "sharing what we have with those we love", according to Lennie Bennett.
Freedom to Worship
Freedom of Worship or Freedom to Worship is the second of the Four Freedoms oil paintings produced by the American artist Norman Rockwell. Rockwell considered this painting and Freedom of Speech the most successful of the series. Freedom of Worship was published on the 27th of February, 1943, issue of The Saturday Evening Post alongside an essay by philosopher Will Durant.
The painting shows the profiles of eight heads in a modest space. The various figures represent people of different faiths in a moment of prayer. Particularly, three figures on the bottom row (right to left): a man with his head covered carrying a religious book who is Jewish, an older woman who is Protestant, and a younger woman with a well-lit face holding rosary beads who is Catholic.
Freedom from Fear
Freedom from Fear is the last of a series of four oil paintings entitled Four Freedoms, painted by Norman Rockwell. The works were inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a State of the Union Address delivered to the 77th United States Congress on January 6, 1941; the speech itself is often called the Four Freedoms.
The painting shows children resting safely in their beds, oblivious to the perils of this world, as their parents look on. Their mother tucks them in while their father holds a newspaper describing the horrors of the ongoing conflict. However, his attention is fully on his children and not on the alarming headlines.
The father appears as the "classic Rockwell onlooker" who serves as a viewer within the painting. Since he is holding his glasses, we assume that he has finished reading the Bennington Banner in his hand. The newspaper's headline reads "Bombings Ki ... Horror Hit", referencing the Blitz. The Blitz was a period of sustained strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Germany during the Second World War.