||Illustrator Norman Rockwell used his Vermont neighbors to help interpret the staunchly American values contained in the "Four Freedoms" so eloquently presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his State of the Union speech to Congress, Jan. 6, 1941.
The Four Freedoms is probably the most ambitious and serious work by the most famous American illustrator in the 20th century. In addition to major advertising campaigns, his talent was also employed by the US government for support of the Second World War effort. It was FDR who had distilled the cause for which we were fighting into Four Freedoms. Only Rockwell could have represented such big ideas in his homey, folksy way without over-sentimentalizing or trivializing them. He undertook the paintings on his own initiative; it was only after he had failed to interest the Office of War Information in them and they had been published in the Post that the government saw their potential and used them in poster campaigns for both the general war effort and War Bonds. The Treasury Department also took the originals on tour; seen by 1.2 million people, they helped sell $132 million in bonds. The original paintings form the centerpiece of the Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as well as that of the smashingly successful tour of this artist's work. This is the smaller format of the series.
Creator/Contributor: Rockwell, Norman 1894-1978 / Saturday evening post
Publisher: [Washington, D.C.] : U. S. Government Printing Office
World War, 1939-1945. United States. Posters.
Reference: American Style p.132, Posters for Victory p. 40ff, Design for Victory p.37, War Posters 210 (var.)