Four Freedoms Writing Competition: Alternative Art Labels

Four Freedoms Image
February 01, 2019

Deadline: Wednesday, February 27

The Department of American Studies invites GW undergraduates to participate in a contest to write alternative labels for artworks featured in The George Washington University Museum’s Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt, & the Four Freedoms exhibition, on display from February 13-April 29, 2019.

Contest winners will have their labels displayed in the exhibition and be honored at a winners’ reception on Wednesday, March 20. The best label will also receive a grand prize of $400. Submissions will be judged by a panel of three American Studies faculty: Prof. Libby Anker, Prof. David Bjelajac, and Prof. Nicole Ivy.

  • Submissions Due: Wednesday, February 27
  • Winners’ Reception: Wednesday, March 20, 5-7pm
  • Grand Prize for Best Label: $400

About the Exhibition:

The internally traveling exhibition Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt, & the Four Freedoms features several of Norman Rockwell’s most iconic images of American life and ideals. Rockwell’s paintings are in dialogue with Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech, which laid out freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear as guiding principles for an inclusive and healthy democracy. Yet freedom today may mean something different than it did in 1941. How might we think about these freedoms now? Alternatively, how might we think about Rockwell’s paintings as representations and interpretations of Roosevelt’s four freedoms?

Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms has been organized by Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Leadership support is provided by Jay Alix, the Alix Foundation, and the George Lucas Family Foundation.

National Presenting Sponsor is

Travelers Logo


Major Support

Ford Foundation Logo     Heritage Auctions Logo

National Endowment for the Arts Logo

Media Sponsors

Curtis Logo
and the Norman Rockwell Family Agency

Major support provided by Michael Bakwin, Helen Bing, Elephant Rock Foundation, Annie and Ned Lamont, Ted Slavin, and an anonymous donor.
Additional support provided by Anthony and Susan Consigli, Ralph and Audrey Friedner, Louise Holland, and our GoFundMe supporters.
Lead support for the exhibition at GW provided by the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies, and the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts.


Visit The George Washington University Museum exhibition Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt, & the Four Freedoms, which opens on February 13, 2019. Select a work of art in the exhibition and re-write the text for its accompanying label. Writing submissions can be creative, technical, historical, or a blend of several approaches. Submissions MUST be under 120 words in length and include a title.

To submit:

  • Send your submission to the Department of American Studies ([email protected]) with the subject line “Four Freedoms Writing Competition” and your name.
  • Attach your submission as a Microsoft Word document. No other file formats, please.
  • Please include your name, major, and year (e.g. “Class of 2020”), and the original title and artist of the artwork you selected.
  • If you have questions, email American Studies at [email protected].