Access lesson plans, projects, and resources to connect the art of Norman Rockwell with art, language arts and social studies learningActivities & Class Plans
Born amid the turmoil of World War II, the Four Freedoms have since become one of its greatest legacies, a testament to the paramount importance of human rights and dignity. Brought forward by one of America’s greatest presidents and immortalized by one of its most beloved artists more than seventy-five years ago, the Four Freedoms continue to inspire, resonating across generations as strongly today as they did in their time.Explore the Four Freedoms Curriculum
Responsible for helping to shape the perception of American society and culture in the 20th century, Rockwell was at times a documentarian and a mythmaker. By transforming a blank canvas into a portrayal of a young African-American girl courageously enduring a hate-filled crowd on her walk to school, Rockwell depicted Ruby Bridges as a modern day Joan of Arc. Following his break with The Saturday Evening Post in 1963, Rockwell began to create paintings that allowed him to address more substantive matters.Explore Civil Rights Curriculum
A natural storyteller, Norman Rockwell envisioned his scenarios down to the smallest detail, yet at the easel he found it difficult to paint purely from his imagination. Rockwell turned to photography as an efficient, accurate, and liberating means to satisfy his literalism. By photographing his props wherever he found them he no longer had to assemble together the disparate objects his narratives required. By photographing far-flung settings he was able to introduce true-to-life backgrounds. And by freeing him from the drawbacks of live models, photography dramatically expanded his vocabulary of available postures and possible expressions. “Now anybody could pose for me,” Rockwell said, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.
After choosing the best photographs to tell his story, Norman Rockwell began the process of translating these images into his finished painting. First, a detailed charcoal drawing was required with which he developed and refined his narrative and worked out compositional details. After transferring his charcoal study to canvas and sealing it with thinned shellac, Norman Rockwell began the demanding process of laying down paint. Surrounded by all of the reference materials he had collected for the work at hand, his photographs played a final role as he tacked snippets cut from them to his easel as he worked.Explore Artistic Process Curriculum
Located in the heart of GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus, Washington, the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum fosters the study and appreciation of art, history, and culture—both within the university and throughout the global community.
701 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
The Mémorial de Caen is a museum and war memorial in Caen, Normandy, France commemorating World War II and the Battle for Caen. More generally, the museum is dedicated to the history of the twentieth century, mainly focused on the fragility of peace. Its intention is "pay a tribute to the martyred city of the liberation" but also to tell "what was the terrible story of the 20th century in a spirit of reconciliation"
Le Mémorial de Caen
Esplanade Général Eisenhower
14050 Caen Cedex 4
Houston has been hailed as America’s most diverse city, a reflection of how the nation will look in just a few decades. By its nature, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, along with its Glassell School of Art, and its two house museums—Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Rienzi—embodies the character of this city through the Museum’s staff, visitors, mission, programs, and collections.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 works of art created throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.
Houston, Texas 77005
Leadership Support: Jay Alix, The Alix Foundation, George Lucas Family Foundation
National Presenting Sponsor: Travellers Insurance
Major Support: Anonymous, Michael Barkin, Helen Bing, Elephant Rock Foundation, Annie and Ned Lamont, Ted Slavin
Ford Foundation, Heritage Auctions, National Endowment for the Arts
Media Sponsors: Curtis Licensing - The Saturday Evening Post, Norman Rockwell Family Agency
Additional Support: Anthony and Susan Consigli, Ralph and Audrey Friedner, Louise Holland, our GoFundMe Supporters
Curriculum Authors: Cheryl Paulsen and Karen Romeo-Leger, with Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Mary Berle, Tom Daly, Patrick O’Donnell
Digital Platform: Rich Bradway, Adage Technologies