Hilbert Museum of California Art

Hilbert Museum to Reopen, Showcases Newly Acquired Painting – “Freedom of Speech”

New art installations are underway at The Hilbert Museum of California Art in preparation for its reopening to the public. The Hilbert Museum will re-open for limited hours, Tuesdays – Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, October 13.

New at the Hilbert

New to the Permanent Collection Gallery is a timely painting underscoring many of the themes surrounding our current political climate: “Freedom of Speech,” 2020, oil on canvas by Danny Galieote.

Danny Galieote, "Freedom of Speech," 2020, oil on canvas. The Hilbert Collection.
Danny Galieote, “Freedom of Speech,” 2020, oil on canvas. The Hilbert Collection.

Galieote’s painting is a salute to the original Norman Rockwell piece “Freedom of Speech,” part of his “Four Freedoms” series based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous “Four Freedoms” speech of 1941. Galieote both pays tribute to the famed Rockwell painting and updates the image, incorporating modern social concerns and underscoring the timeless truths of human nature.

In a 1941 speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. 

Inspired, Norman Rockwell then illustrated each of the freedoms from the perspective of his own ordinary, hometown experiences: A man speaking out his own views at a town meeting. The peaceful faces of people of various faiths as they worship. A grandma serving a bounteous Thanksgiving feast to her family. Parents tucking their sleepy children into bed in a cozy house. 

The Rockwell paintings were published in the Saturday Evening Post and went on a national tour, raising $132 million for war bonds. They have been issued as posters, U.S. postage stamps and prints and have become instantly recognizable images. 

“I like to think of these paintings as being timeless in the sense that they relate to our needs as humans since the beginning of time,” explains Galieote. “FDR made his famous speech about the Four Freedoms in one of the most intense times during WWII, and Rockwell painted them when people wanted and needed such encouragement.”

“[My] four new works are images of people today,” said Galieote. “But they’re in recognizable compositions that relate to this core set of meanings behind  Rockwell’s iconic imagery of people that can exist then and now.”

Visit the Hilbert Museum of California Art

You can see Galieote’s painting in person when the Hilbert Museum reopens on Tuesday, Oct. 13. In addition, the current “Los Angeles Scene Paintings” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” exhibitions have been extended through Feb. 20, 2021. There’s a lot to see at the Hilbert Museum. Plan your visit, and stop by!

In order for everyone to safely enjoy the art, safety measures will be in place including, limited visitor occupancy, increased cleanings, required face coverings, physical distancing and more.