A landmark volume placing Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms in their historical and artistic context.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt closed his 1941 State of the Union address with a vision of a world founded upon four human values: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. By 1943, America had entered World War II, and inspired to do his part, Norman Rockwell painted a series of four paintings based on these Freedoms.
Rockwell’s innately American interpretations of the Freedoms found a familiar home at The Saturday Evening Post, where they proved overwhelmingly popular. The U.S. government put the works on tour, and they helped raise $133 million for the war effort.
Enduring Ideals reveals the complex and sometimes unexpected story behind FDR’s Freedoms and the role
of Rockwell’s paintings—on tour for the first time in a generation—in illuminating them. In doing so, it brings together other works, by Rockwell and his contemporaries—such as Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks—along with analysis and commentary by art historians and others, including activist Ruby Bridges, artist Daisy Rockwell, and Ambassador William vanden Heuvel.
Stephanie Haboush Plunkett is Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum.
James J. Kimble, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Communication & the Arts, Seton Hall University.