2020 Arts & Culture

Imagining Freedom: Timothy Standring Curates Norman Rockwell

Event Date Mon Mar 16, 2020
Event Time 6 PM
Vail Interfaith Chapel19 Vail Road

Norman Rockwell is best remembered for his covers on The Saturday Evening Post for nearly five decades. The nation followed the career of Willie Gillis, fell in love with Rosie the Riveter and examined its civic responsibilities with an image of a young African American entering a formerly segregated school. But Rockwell was more than just an illustrator.

Dr. Timothy Standring, the Gates Family Foundation Curator at the Denver Art Museum, will discuss the circumstances leading up to the creation of Rockwell’s paintings “The Four Freedoms” (1943) and the astonishing impact they had on a nation recovering from the Depression whilst mobilizing Americans behind a war on foreign soil. Following their publication in the Saturday Evening Post, the four works were shown on a tour of 16 cities across the nation in an effort to sell bonds to support the war effort. Astonishingly, that tour raised over 133 million dollars. And yet the Office of War Information originally rejected his contribution, telling him that they were going to use “real artists.”

This anecdote and others form the heart of Standring’s probing look at these four powerful images, as well as his behind-the-scenes stories leading up to “Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom,” an exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, opening on May 3, 2020 at the Denver Art Museum. What a better way of fostering civic discourse during the summer of political conventions.

This program is underwritten by Mary Ellen Anderson and is presented in partnership with Clagget/Rey Gallery

Due to the Coronavirus situation, we are changing the format of our upcoming events. Tonight’s program will be streamed live on Facebook. Click here to see directions for viewing the program on Facebook. Due to copyright on some of the images that Standring uses, we will not be posting this program afterward. 


Timothy James Standring

Timothy James Standring

Gates Family Foundation Curator of Painting & Sculpture

Denver Art Museum