Section 6 Image Gallery

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Image 4

OURS... to Fight for Freedom from Want

In a time of war, when national unity was particularly desirable, advertisers defended their understanding of the public's temperament and the need to perpetuate mainstream desires and beliefs with common symbols, myths and sentiments.

The commercial illustrator, Norman Rockwell, mastered the ability to capture the hearts and minds of the public when he illustrated Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech in a series of paintings with same the title. OWI recognized how these paintings, seen on covers of The Saturday Evening Post, resonated with the public. OWI reproduced the paintings on posters and used them as a theme for promoting the 1943 nation-wide war-bond drive. 27

Although advertising men did not devise or create the paintings, Rockwell's paintings functioned like advertising by depicting idealized scenes of American citizens instead of the harsh realities of war. Unlike advertising, however, Rockwell realized Roosevelt's speech with depictions of humble citizens (notice the water-glass-only, simple table setting) not normally found in commercial advertising imagery.

Artist: Norman Rockwell
OWI, 1943.

Source: Special Collections, National Agricultural Library