Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms Are Remade by Artists to Reflect America Today

Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms
Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms
  • Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

    Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

  • Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

    Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

Some 75 years after Norman Rockwell created his iconic Four Freedoms images in response to Franklin Roosevelt's State of the Union address during World War II, two contemporary artists have re-interpretered the scenes for today's America.

Rockwell's paintings gave the public visuals for Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom From Want, Freedom From Fear. (These originals are currently on tour.) Artists Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur, who are behind the current For Freedoms initiative, have now recreated the scenes in dozens of photographs.

Last week, the artist-group announced the official release of the Four Freedoms Photographs by For Freedoms.

In a statement, the group said that the images are meant for social media sharing (#forfreedoms) to encourage voting in the mid-terms: "Through dozens of visual iterations of FDR's Four Freedoms, our 80+ images attempt to reflect the immeasurable diversity of American identities today. We made these to illustrate that all of us are stronger when we are all represented—when everyone has a voice and a seat at the table." 

TIME magazine covers the story behind Rockwell's original Four Freedoms and the fresh interpretations in a new article here.

The Four Freedoms:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

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.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941

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