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Norman Rockwell at Patriots Point

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Norman Rockwell and his triple self portrait.

The Patriots Point Curatorial/Exhibits department has just exhibited a display on World War II posters, which includes Norman Rockwell‘s Four Freedoms painted in 1943.

In 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech on the Four Freedoms that everyone should have: the Freedom from Want, the Freedom from Fear, the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom of Worship. Rockwell’s paintings of the Four Freedoms resulted in over $133 million of war bond sales. He stated after painting the Four Freedoms that they were “serious paintings, which sucked the energy right out of me, leaving me dazed and thoroughly weary.”

Freedom from Fear

The father, with a concerned yet caring look look on his face, holds a newspaper and his reading glasses in one hand. The headline of the newspaper father is holding reads “Bombings K… Horror Hit…” This was published during the time that London was being bombed by Nazi Germany.

No doubt, the father is relieved that his family is not living in war-torn Europe. All the fathers in America were similarly relieved. Rockwell’s painting made the parents of America more aware of their relief.

This picture was also printed on Office of War Information poster OWI Poster Number 46 O-511887.

Norman Rockwell was also stationed in the Navy at the Charleston Navy Yard during his service in World War I and a big supporter of the Boy Scouts of America who camp onboard USS Yorktown every weekend at Patriots Point. More on NR next week as we’ll look at his stay in Charleston and work with the Boy Scouts…

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