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"Freedom -of- worship"

by Jeff Znik

You have the wrong title for the freedom - worship painting.


I have checked with the Norman Rockwell Museum and they have it titled as "Freedom of Worship" which, while a more awkward phrase, is a more accurate title.

Keith's Comment:
Hi Jeff and thanks you for commenting.

I just checked the Norman Rockwell Museum of Massachusetts website (http://nrm.org) and they do indeed currently list the painting as Freedom of Worship. I use the modifier "currently. This is because I am the proud owner of the a copy of two volume Norman Rockwell A Definitive Catalogue.

This book was put out by the Museum in 1986 and it catalogs every known Rockwell painting at that time.

On page 770 of Volume Two is found the painting in question. It is listed as item S566. The title is given as Freedom to Worship.

I believe that this is because the essay written to accompany the painting when it was published in the February 27, 1943 edition of The Saturday Evening Post was entitled Freedom to Worship.

Doing a Google search, I found several other websites that are recognized as authorities on artwork where the painting is also listed as Freedom to Worship. This is in addition to its listing in The Definitive Catalogue, my main reference book.

However, I decided to further muddy the waters. Digging out my World War II War Bonds poster, the caption at the top of the poster clearly reads "Save Freedom of Worship", not "Save Freedom to Worship".

Also in his Four Freedoms speech, FDR used the phrase "The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world" again "to worship."

So it could go either way, but I will concede that you are right. However, I will take the position that the painting is called by both names.

I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention, because I noticed that I had misquoted the War Bonds Poster on my page. I corrected this because of your help. (But I am not going to rewrite the whole page, lol) I also noted that the painting is also called Freedom of Worship.

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