Norman Rockwell Museum Calls for Artists
to Reimagine the Four Freedoms

Application deadline has passed and the jury is underway.
Applicants will be notified by the end of July.

Distinguished Jury to Select from Artists’ Submissions for Inclusion in 6-City Internationally Traveling Exhibition “Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms”

Entry fee:  $25                                                                                 

Juried online review. Application and Letter of Intent Due May 26, 2017

Supported by

Freedom to Worship

Freedom of Worship, Norman Rockwell. 1943.
Oil on canvas, 46” x 35 ½”
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 27, 1943
From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

Freedom from Want

Freedom from Want, Norman Rockwell. 1943.
Oil on canvas, 45 ¾ x 35 ½”
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 6, 1943
From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech, Norman Rockwell. 1943.
Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, February 20, 1943
From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN

Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear, Norman Rockwell. 1943.
Oil on canvas, 45 ¾” x 35 ½”
Story illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, March 13, 1943
From the permanent collection of Norman Rockwell Museum
©1943 SEPS: Licensed by Curtis Publishing, Indianapolis, IN


Exhibition Overview

“The advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”

United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948

The Norman Rockwell Museum calls on artists working in all media to reimagine the four essential freedoms enunciated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear, and in 1943, painted by Norman Rockwell for publication in The Saturday Evening Post. Approximately 30 works will be selected for inclusion in the national/international traveling exhibition, Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms, opening at the New-York Historical Society in the summer of 2018. Additional submissions will be available on the exhibition website and in other online media.

Artists are asked to consider the following questions when creating original submissions:

  • How might notions of freedom, as presented in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s and Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms, be reinterpreted for our times?
  • What does freedom look like today?

Artworks may be created in any medium, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital media, virtual reality, audio-visual, and mixed media.

The juried-selection of works will be included in a section of the exhibition that considers the legacy of The Four Freedoms and their relevance or reinterpretation for our times.

Guidelines for submissions:

  • Artists must submit a detailed artist statement representing the concept of the work and clear visual representation as intended. This can include sketches, audiovisual clips or other approaches that provide sufficient information. This information must be included with the application to be considered. Please submit no more than five examples of your overall body of work. In the description box below each image, please indicate whether the piece is a sample of your work or an intended submission to Reimagining the Four Freedoms.
  • Artworks will be vertical in orientation and adhere to a standard support size of 16” wide  x 20” high for two dimensional objects, and no larger than and 16” high x 16” wide x 16” deep for sculpture. If you have a concept or project that does not adhere to these dimensions, please contact Jana Purdy directly at Requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Artworks will not be for sale, and will be framed, insured, and transported by Norman Rockwell Museum in conjunction with the exhibition, Enduring Ideal: Rockwell, Roosevelt, & the Four Freedoms
  • Artists will submit a single work that addresses the queries as outlined above.
  • Artworks selected for installation will be available for travel to all exhibition venues, from 2018 to 2020. Other selections will be presented on line, across digital platforms.


Awards of $1500 each will be given to three artworks selected by the jurors to be best-in-show.


Schedule for Submissions:

May 26, 2017
Exhibition applications, artist’s statement of intent for the project, resume, and up to 12 samples from the artist’s body of work are due

July 14, 2017
Artists will be notified of the jury’s selection. Selected artists will be invited to move concepts for artworks forward to completion.

December 15, 2017
Images of finished artworks are due.

January 19, 2018
Artists will be notified as to whether their artwork will be featured in the traveling exhibition and/or on related digital platforms. Norman Rockwell Museum staff will contact artists to schedule the pickup and transit of artwork and to forward appropriate loan agreement agreements. Arrangements for shipping for a February arrival at the Museum will be made.

How to Enter:

Entry Fee: $25. Secure credit card payments can be made through CaFE at Personal checks will be accepted via mail payable to Norman Rockwell Museum and mailed to: Norman Rockwell Museum; Reimagining the Four Freedoms; PO Box 308; Stockbridge, MA 01262.

Exhibition Travel Schedule (To Date):

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
May 25 – September 2, 2018

The Henry Ford
Dearborn, MI
October – December 2018

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
Washington, DC
February – April 2019

Caen Memorial Museum
Normandy, France
June – October 2019

Museum of Fine Arts
Houston, TX
December – March 2020

Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, MA
June – October 2020


Artworks will be juried by a panel of qualified judges including:

Liza Donnelly, cartoonist and writer for The New Yorker, which has featured her cartoons about culture and politics for over 30 years.

Wendy Tarlow Kaplan, independent curator and art historian.

Anita Kunz, award-winning illustrator who has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor, by her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.

Robyn Phillips-Pendleton, Associate Professor of Visual Communications at University of Delaware, Newark, in the Department of Art and Design.

Maurice “Pops” Peterson, visual artist, author, and Artist in Residence of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Norman Rockwell Museum and co-curator of the exhibition.

Chuck Pyle, Director of the Illustration Program, Academy of Art University, San Francisco.

Melanie Reim, Professor of Art, MFA and BFA Illustration Program at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York City.

John Wetenhall, Director, The George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum; Associate Professor of Museum Studies, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C

Setsuko Sato, artist and former National Public Radio Producer, whose Freedom from Fear/Yellow Bowl Project aims to raise awareness about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.



About The Four Freedoms
On January 6, 1941, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed his State of the Union Address to Congress, he described his vision for a better way of life through what he considered the four essential human freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear and Freedom from Want. Almost two years later, with the United States in the throes of World War II, Norman Rockwell created his series of paintings of the Four Freedoms, hoping they would help garner support for America’s role in the War. Indeed, Rockwell’s images came to be embraced by millions of Americans, providing crucial aid to the War effort and taking their place among the most enduring images in the history of American art.

While the Four Freedoms were born amidst the turmoil of World War II they have become a testament to the paramount importance of human rights and dignity. That legacy has been inspiring citizens and institutions, including the United Nations, across the world for over 75 years. This call-to-artists provides an opportunity to give artistic voice the Four Freedoms legacy and how they might be reinterpreted for our times.

For additional information on the exhibition, visit

The call to artists has been sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms has been generously supported by national presenting sponsors—Jay Alix | The Alix Foundation, George Lucas Family Foundation, and an Anonymous funder; and national presenting co-sponsor—The Travelers Companies, Inc. Additional support is provided by Helen Bing, Elephant Rock Foundation, Annie and Ned Lamont, National Endowment for the Arts, and Ted Slavin.

Media sponsors include: Curtis Licensing, a division of The Saturday Evening Post, and the Norman Rockwell Family Agency.

For more information on the application process, visit, or