Norman Rockwell (November 2021)

Norman Rockwell, half-length portrait, facing left, arms folded By en: Underwood & Underwood (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Norman Rockwell
Giving Thanks . . .

Norman Perceval Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) was a 20th-century American author, painter and illustrator. His works appealed to many for their reflection of everyday American life and culture. Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for nearly fifty years.

His painting, Freedom from Want (1942), depicting a group around a dinner table, is an iconic depiction of Thanksgiving, with a family gathered together to celebrate the holiday meal.

Normal Rockwell's painting Freedom from Want showing a happy family gathered around the dinner table at Thanksgiving. Norman Rockwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Freedom from Want by Norman Rockwell (image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain)
The painting is third in a series of four works titled the Four Freedoms. The paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear were reproduced in The Saturday Evening Post for four consecutive weeks in 1943.  The works were inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s state of the union speech to boost patriotism in 1941 entitled “The Four Freedoms.”

Quoting from Roosevelt’s speech: “The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.”


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