Realistic And Deceptively Complex: New Exhibit Explores The Work Of Norman Rockwell

The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston centers around Rockwell’s paintings, the “Four Freedoms,” which were commentary on strife and resilience during the civil rights era.

By Kristen CabreraDecember 20, 2019 1:09 pm

Few American visual artists are as well-known as Norman Rockwell. His photorealistic portraits portrayed an idealized version of American midcentury life, and often graced the covers of the Saturday Evening Post. But Rockwell also used the same photorealism technique to portray scenes of hate and injustice common during the civil rights movement.

Now, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is showing Rockwell’s work in a new exhibit, “Norman Rockwell: American Freedom.” Kaylin Weber is organizing curator. She says the exhibition specifically focus on four comic Rockwell paintings, known as the “Four Freedoms.”

“The exhibition does a wonderful job of presenting these four paintings … but then also putting them within the context of their time.”

Weber says the “Four Freedoms” are exhibited along with other Rockwell paintings, and paintings by other artists of the time.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Where the term the “Four Freedoms” comes from

– How the freedom of speech figured prominently in Rockwell’s work

– How Rockwell’s work is deceptively complex


Written by Caroline Covington.