In preparing to paint this 1961 Saturday Evening Post cover, Norman Rockwell noted that many countries, cultures, and religions incorporate some version of the Golden Rule into their belief systems. “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You” is a simple but universal phrase that reflected Rockwell’s personal philosophy. A gathering of people from different cultures, religions, and ethnicities, this image was a precursor of the socially conscious subjects that Rockwell would illustrate in the 1960s and 1970s. Rockwell was a compassionate man, and this simple phrase reflected his philosophy.
The New-York Historical Society exhibition, Rockwell, Roosevelt, & the Four Freedoms is the inspiration for the NYHistory Store's merchandise. The traveling exhibition, which was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, explores how Rockwell’s 1943 paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from Want—gave visual voice to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s call to the defense of freedom worldwide and took their place among the most enduring images in the history of American art. On view through September 2, 2018.