Norman Rockwell’s iconic Four Freedoms illustrations are going on six-city tour in a first-ever comprehensive exhibition titled “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms.”
The exhibition illuminates the historic context in which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated the Four Freedoms and the role of Rockwell’s paintings in bringing them to life for millions of people, rallying the public behind the World War II effort and changing the tenor of the times. In demonstrating how Rockwell’s works were transformed from a series of paintings into a national movement, “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms” displays the power of illustration in communicating ideas and inspiring change.
In addition to the Four Freedoms illustrations, the exhibition brings together numerous other examples of painting, illustration and more, by both Rockwell and a broad range of his contemporaries — from J.C. Leyendecker and Mead Schaeffer, to Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks, among others — as well as historical documents, photographs, videos and artifacts; interactive digital displays; and immersive settings.
The exhibition begins in May in New York City and will arrive at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., in September 2020.
Until they are packed up for their tour, the Four Freedoms are on view through April at the Norman Rockwell Museum, 9 Glendale Road/Route 183, in Stockbridge.
Here is the tour itinerary, if you’re in these areas:
The New York Historical Society, New York: May 25 to Sept. 2, 2018.
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Mich.: Oct. 13, 2018, to Jan. 13, 2019.
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.: Feb. 9, 2019, to May 6, 2019.
Mémorial de Caen, Normandy, France: June 4 to Oct. 27, 2019.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Dec. 15, 2019, March 22, 2020.
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge: September 2020 to November 2020.
Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms and its six-city tour are organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum. The exhibition has been co-curated by Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum, and James J. Kimble, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication & the Arts, Seton Hall University.
Major support for Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms has been generously provided by Jay Alix | The Alix Foundation and George Lucas Family Foundation, and by national presenting sponsor The Travelers Companies, Inc. Additional support is provided by an anonymous donor, Michael Bakwin, Helen Bing, Elephant Rock Foundation, Ford Foundation, Annie and Ned Lamont, National Endowment for the Arts, and Ted Slavin.
Media sponsors include: Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post, and Norman Rockwell Family Agency.