Sunday, 9 January 2011

Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell at Dulwich Picture Gallery

From top left, freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
If you are around London in the coming weeks, try to visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery, where there is an exhibition of art by Norman Rockwell. Included in the exhibition are two of my favorites, the 'Four Freedoms' and 'The Problem We All Live With'. Those who have visited the Irish Centre for Human Rights will know that the Four Freedoms are framed in our seminar room, and The Problem We All Live With is in the corridor just outside my office. The Problem We All Live With illustrates a courageous African-American schoolgirl, Ruby Bridges, going to school on the first day of desegregation in New Orleans, escorted by four US marshalls.

The Problem We All Live With
The 'Four Freedoms' was coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt in a speech delivered on 6 January 1941. To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the speech, there is a feature on the speech at the FDR Library. It includes the speech itself, and an audio recording.
The 'four freedoms' are repeated in the preambles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the two International Covenants on human rights. They reaffirm the indivisibility of human rights, notably the relationship between civil rights and economic rights, and the role of peace in the promotion of human rights.
Thanks to John Barrett.

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