This object is currently on display in room 206 as part of Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection. There are 2 other images of this object. See our image rights statement.

 

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Object Timeline

-0001

1941

  • Work on this object began.

1995

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2016

Poster, A Better Home, 1941

This is a poster. It was designed by Lester Beall and made for (as the client) Rural Electrification Administration. It is dated 1941 and we acquired it in 1995. Its medium is screenprint on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

As part of the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s, the Rural Electification Adminstration (REA) sought to provide rural residents with access to electricity. Lester Beall designed this patriotic poster featuring a pattern of red dots that suggest the flow of electric current. Beall’s poster conveys the message that electricity will improve your kitchen, which will improve your home.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Electrification for a Better Biscuit.

This object was purchased from Reinhold Brown Gallery and fund: General Acquisitions Endowment. It is credited Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. Edward C. Post and from Friends of Drawings and Prints, General Acquisition Endowment, Sarah Cooper Hewitt, and Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program Funds.

Our curators have highlighted 6 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Bulb Lamp, 1966
  • mold-blown glass, chrome-plated metal, incandescent bulb.
  • Gift of Ingo Maurer.
  • 2008-16-1-a,b

Its dimensions are

H x W: 101.8 × 76.2 cm (40 1/16 in. × 30 in.)

It is inscribed

Imprinted in black text on red band, lower margin: RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION/U.S. Department of Agriculture

Cite this object as

Poster, A Better Home, 1941; Designed by Lester Beall (American, 1903–1969); USA; screenprint on paper; H x W: 101.8 × 76.2 cm (40 1/16 in. × 30 in.); Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. Edward C. Post and from Friends of Drawings and Prints, General Acquisition Endowment, Sarah Cooper Hewitt, and Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program Funds; 1995-106-2

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18649825/ |title=Poster, A Better Home, 1941 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 June 2016 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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