A gifted storyteller and a masterful painter, Norman Rockwell was also chronicler of his times. His images celebrate the extraordinary in the commonplace, inspiring us to see that which we may not have noticed ourselves during the course of our busy lives. Universal and particular, his striking scenes of everyday life tell America’s story with affectionate humor, dignity and kindness. The beauty, warmth and integrity of his artworks, created for mass publication, resonates as strongly today as when they were first painted.
The lessons and ideas for learning in the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Four Freedoms Curriculum are adaptable for elementary and secondary grade levels, and educators are encouraged to choose those best suited to individual class needs and educational goals.
Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear, inspired a nation during World War II and continue to do so today. Inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union Address, Norman Rockwell created his Four Freedoms paintings as a contribution to the World War II effort. In his historic address to the American people, President Roosevelt identified four basic human rights that he believed should be guaranteed “everywhere in the world,” thereby citing the objectives of war with an emphasis on his hopeful view of the postwar world.
Lessons relating to Rockwell’s artworks have been established within the context of three academic subject areas: Visual Art, History/Social Studies, and Language Arts.
Created in the Understanding by Design model, which promotes student engagement and encourages the application of knowledge in meaningful ways, the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Four Freedoms Curriculum:
The Four Freedoms Curriculum features the following related themes:
Through engagement with this curriculum, teachers and students will be well acquainted with Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms and the cultural and historical precepts surrounding them. They are designed to inspire thought-provoking discourse about the images within their time, as well as significance of these enduring ideals in our world today.
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
Curriculum Authors: Cheryl Paulsen and Karen Romeo-Leger, with Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Tom Daly, Patrick O’Donnell
Digital Platform: Rich Bradway, Adage Technologies