In his State of the Union address on Monday, January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt laid out the goals, or “Four Freedoms”, that he believed were the fundamental and essential rights of people not only in our democracy but also around the world. These “Four Freedoms” encompassed freedom of speech and freedom of worship—both protected in the First Amendment of our Constitution—along with freedom from want and freedom from fear. More than 75 years later, each of these civil liberties is often still contested.
Many artists in the 20th and 21st centuries tackled these social and civic issues in a variety of ways, perhaps most notably by Norman Rockwell, who illustrated Roosevelt’s aims in 1943. In conjunction with For Freedoms | The 50 State Initiative, the exhibition For Freedoms: Citizenship and Art hopes to generate greater participation in our American democracy by examining the various points of view that different artists bring to each of these “Four Freedoms”, challenging each of us to consider what these rights mean in the 21st century. Works of art drawn from the MMFA permanent collection depicting patriotism and various interpretations of these four inalienable human rights all demonstrate how art wields the power to address cultural issues, to enlighten, and to unite people.
Let us know what freedom means to you!
This exhibition is accompanied by information on how to register to vote and includes an area for community feedback.
Above: Photograph of the 2018 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
This exhibition hopes to generate greater participation in our American democracy by examining artists’ various points of view of each of these “Four Freedoms”, challenging each of us to consider what these rights mean in the 21st century.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Support for this exhibition was provided by PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.