norman rockwell painting, freedom of speech. bedside.

"Freedom of Speech"

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. The blue-collar speaker wears a plaid shirt and suede jacket. He has dirty hands and a darker complexion than others in attendance. The other attendees are wearing white shirts, ties and jackets. Although one of the men is wearing a wedding band, the speaker is not. Edgerton's youth and workmanlike hands are fashioned with a worn and stained jacket, while the other attendees appear to be older and more neatly and formally dressed. He is shown "standing tall, his mouth open, his shining eyes transfixed, he speaks his mind, untrammeled and unafraid." Edgerton is depicted in a way that resembles Abraham Lincoln. According to Bruce Cole of The Wall Street Journal, the closest figure in the painting is revealing a subject of the meeting as "a discussion of the town's annual report".

norman rockwell painting, freedom of Freedom-of-Worship

"Freedom of Worship"

Freedom of Worship is the second of a series of four oil paintings by Norman Rockwell entitled Four Freedoms. The works were inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union Address delivered to the 77th United States Congress on January 6, 1941, known as Four Freedoms. Of the Four Freedoms, the only two described in the United States Constitution are freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The Four Freedoms' theme was later incorporated into the Allies' World War II policy statement, the Atlantic Charter, and became part of the charter of the United Nations.[1] The series of paintings ran on four consecutive weeks in The Saturday Evening Post, accompanied by essays from noted writers: Freedom of Speech (February 20), Freedom of Worship (February 27), Freedom from Want (March 6) and Freedom from Fear (March 13). For the essay accompanying Freedom of Worship, Post editor Ben Hibbs chose Durant, who was a best-selling author at the peak of his fame. At the time, Durant was in the midst of working on his ten-volume The Story of Civilization, coauthored with his wife, Ariel Durant. Will Durant also lectured on history and philosophy.

norman rockwell painting, freedom of speech. bedside.

"Freedom from Want"

Freedom from Want is the third in a series of four oil paintings entitled Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell. They were inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt's State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms, delivered to the 77th United States Congress on January 6, 1941. The painting shows an aproned matriarch presenting a roasted turkey to a family of several generations, n 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. The table has a bowl of fruit, celery, pickles, and what appears to be cranberry sauce. There is a covered silver serving dish that would traditionally hold potatoes, according to Richard Halpern, The servings are less prominent than the presentation of white linen, white plates and water-filled glasses. The people in the painting are not yet eating, and the painting contrasts the empty plates and vacant space in their midst with images of overabundance.

norman rockwell painting, freedom of speech. bedside.

"Freedom from Fear"

Freedom from Fear is the last of a series of four oil paintings entitled Four Freedoms, painted by Norman Rockwell. 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. According to another view, the children are already asleep, and their parents are checking on them in their shared narrow bed before they themselves turn in for the night. 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. n the background is a lit hallway and a stairway leading to the first floor. According to Rockwell, who did not really care much for the work, the theme "was based on a rather smug idea. Painted during the bombing of London, it was supposed to say, 'Thank God we can put our children to bed with a feeling of security, knowing they will not be killed in the night.


bandb picture, norman rockwell next to a paintingIn the spring of 1942, Norman Rockwell was working on a piece commissioned by the Ordnance Department of the U.S. Army, a painting of a machine gunner in need of ammunition. Posters of the gunner, titled Let’s Give Him Enough and On Time, were distributed to ordnance plants throughout the country to encourage production. But Rockwell wanted to do more for the war effort and decided he would illustrate Roosevelt’s four freedoms.Finding new ideas for paintings never came easily, but this was a greater challenge. “It was so darned high-blown,” Rockwell said, “Somehow I just couldn’t get my mind around it.” While mulling it over, Rockwell, by chance, attended a town meeting where one man rose among his neighbors and voiced an unpopular view. That night Rockwell awoke with the realization that he could paint the freedoms best from the perspective of his own hometown experiences using everyday, simple scenes such as his own town meeting. Rockwell made some rough sketches and, accompanied by fellow Post cover artist Mead Schaeffer, went to Washington to propose his poster idea. The timing was wrong. The Ordnance Department didn’t have the resources for another commission. On his way back to Vermont, Rockwell stopped at Curtis Publishing Company, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post, and showed his sketches to editor Ben Hibbs. Hibbs immediately made plans to use the illustrations in the Post. Rockwell was given permission to interrupt his work for the magazine—typically one cover per month—for three months. But Rockwell “got a bad case of stage fright,” and it was two and a half months before he even began the project. “It was a job that should have been tackled by Michelangelo,” he said in a New Yorker interview three years later.

roosevelt giving speechsThe paintings were a phenomenal success. After their publication, the Post received 25,000 requests for reprints. In May 1943, representatives from the Post and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a joint campaign to sell war bonds and stamps. They would send the Four Freedoms paintings along with 1,000 original cartoons and paintings by other illustrators and original manuscripts from The Saturday Evening Post on a national tour. Traveling to sixteen cities, the exhibition was visited by more than a million people who purchased 133 million dollars in war bonds and stamps. Bonds were sold in denominatiotns of $25, $100, and $1,000, and each person who purchased one received a set of prints of the four paintings. In addition, the Office of War Information printed four million sets of posters of the paintings. Each was printed with the words “Buy War Bonds.” They were distributed in United States schools and institutions, and overseas. The Four Freedoms are now part of the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum and reside in their own specially designed gallery space, inviting visitors to reflect on their inspiring message.

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