Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom explores the indelible odyssey of humanity’s greatest ideals.
Returning to Stockbridge following a six city tour that has taken Rockwell’s art and the work of other creators to New York, Detroit, Washington DC, Normandy, France, Houston, and Denver, Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom explores the indelible odyssey of the Four Freedoms, humanity’s greatest and sometimes most elusive ideals.
The power of images to shape cultural narratives is revealed in this dynamic and evolving exhibition, which invites viewers to trace the origins and legacy of the Four Freedoms from the trials of the Great Depression and World War II to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and the call for freedom today across racial, gender, ethnic, and religious lines. Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom inspires conversation about our most pressing social concerns through the lens of art and history, and invites us to consider how we can become allies in the creation of a more humane world.
Rockwell’s most iconic works, including the legendary Four Freedoms paintings inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vision for a peaceful post-war world; the artist’s personal plea for unity in The Golden Rule; his call for human rights in The Problem We All Live With and Murder in Mississippi; and his petition for truth and transparency in The Right to Know reflect the artist’s desire to make a difference. More than forty Rockwell artworks are joined by paintings, drawings, photography, and writings of artists working across the decades for the cause of freedom, including Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Arthur Rothstein, Mead Schaeffer, Arthur Szyk, Martha Sawyers, Langston Hughes, Thomas Lea, Boris Artzybasheff, and Denys Wortman, among others. Reimagining the Four Freedoms, a multi-media exhibition component, presents thought-provoking perspectives by forty contemporary artists who explore society’s hopes and aspirations for a free and just world. Highlighted among them is a suite of striking recreations by Maurice Pops Peterson, who presents a vision of Rockwell’s art for a new age. Also on view is The Unity Project, a series of original poster illustrations by noted artists Mai Ly Degnan, Rudy Gutierrez, Anita Kunz, Tim OA’Brien, Whitney Sherman, and Yuko Shimizu that are designed to inspire Americans to participate in the democratic process by voting.