Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

She won't talk!

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1943 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    photolithograph

  • 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:

    E.1409-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 1B, box LS1

Through this poster, American audiences were urged to avoid careless talk which might benefit enemy forces during World War II. The photographic image of the startled woman with her mouth covered was designed to convey tension and drama - much as would a scene from Hollywood films of the period. Many viewers would have been familiar with similar scenes from sabotage-themed Alfred Hitchcock films of the 1940s. The disembodied ears looming in the background are meant to be further sinister reminders of the threat of espionage. The poster's immediacy is also driven by the text which pointedly implores the viewer's silence and discretion by asking "Will You [talk]?"

Physical description

Glamorous blonde with a man's hand covering her mouth. Four large, disembodied ears loom in the background. (Black & white image).

Place of Origin

United States (made)

Date

ca. 1943 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

photolithograph

Marks and inscriptions

She won't talk!/ Will You?/ The enemy has ears

Dimensions

Height: 30.7 cm, Width: 22.8 cm

Descriptive line

"She won't talk!" World War II poster urging against careless talk. USA, ca. 1943.

Materials

Paper; Ink

Subjects depicted

Secrecy; Propaganda; Security; War; Woman

Categories

Prints; Politics; Posters

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.