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Poster - Someone Talked!
  • Someone Talked!
    Koerner, Henry, born 1915 - died 1991
  • Enlarge image

Someone Talked!

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1942 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Koerner, Henry, born 1915 - died 1991 (artist)
    Grinnell Lithographic Co. (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of the American Friends of the V&A; Gift to the American Friends by Leslie, Judith and Gabri Schreyer and Alice Schreyer Batko

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3G, shelf DR2

Koerner won an award with this poster and soon after began working for the Office of War Information. He draws a direct link between the military disaster and the person who talked, fostering the idea of individual responsibility for security. He points the finger (shaped out of cut newspaper), not accusingly towards the viewer, but down on the scurrying figure. The consequences of careless talk are spelt out in the text of the newspaper article (avoiding unpopular depictions of death) while the figure of the guilty man casts an ominously long shadow.

Physical description

Large pointing finger in the shape of cut-out newspaper "accusing" a small male figure in a suit and hat.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


1942 (made)


Koerner, Henry, born 1915 - died 1991 (artist)
Grinnell Lithographic Co. (printers)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

Someone Talked!
red printed on brown

lower right corner

Winner R. Hoe & Co., Inc. Award - National War Poster Competition/ Held Under Auspices of Artists For Victory, Inc. - Council for Democracy - Museum of Modern Art
across lower margin


Height: 83.8 cm, Width: 59.6 cm

Descriptive line

WWII poster promoting individual responsibility for national security, USA, 1942

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Modern American Poster: From the Graphic Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. J. Stewart Johnson. Kyoto: The National Museum of Modern Art. 1983.

Production Note

won National War Poster competition


Ink; Paper


Colour lithography

Subjects depicted

Secrecy; Man; Propaganda; Newspaper; Espionage


Propaganda; Prints; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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