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Be smart act dumb! Loose talk can cost lives

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1942 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Soglow, Otto, born 1900 - died 1975 (designer)
    British and American Ambulance Corps. (issued by)

  • 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:

    E.601-2004

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case Y, shelf 62, box E

Physical description

'Be smart act dumb!', World War II poster warning against careless talk, with an image of a man depicted in cartoon form. The man is wearing a suit, hat and bow-tie, and on either side of him are the faces of the enemy. They are represented by caricatures of Hitler, on the left, and on the right a racist depicting of a Japanese man, presumably Emperor Hirohito (although he is not wearing spectacles). The cartoon is black and white, but is against a dark turqouise-green background. Above the image, in white letters, is the slogan, 'Be smart act dumb!', and below the image, printed in black on a yellow 'banner', 'Loose Talk Can Cost Lives'.

Place of Origin

United States (made)

Date

1942 (made)

Artist/maker

Soglow, Otto, born 1900 - died 1975 (designer)
British and American Ambulance Corps. (issued by)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph

Marks and inscriptions

'BE SMART / ACT DUMB!'
Above the image, in white letters

'LOOSE TALK / CAN COST LIVES'
Below the image, printed in black against a yellow tape or banner

'O.SOGLOW'
In the lower right corner of the poster, white on green

'© 1942'
Date, in lower left corner

'DISTRIBUTED IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL DEFENCE, AND AS A MEANS OF OBTAINING FUNDS FOR AMBULANCES WHEREVER NEEDED, BRITISH AND AMERICAN AMBULANCE CORPS, INC., 420 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY'
distribution details, running along the lower edge of the poster, in white border, printed in black

'ART'
Symbol made of an eagle's head, forming the letter 'a', with the letters 'ART' below, within a squared oval

'LITHO IN U.S.A.'
Along edge in lower left corner, printed in black

Dimensions

Height: 50.7 cm, Width: 35.5 cm

Descriptive line

'Be smart act dumb!', World War II poster warning against careless talk, by Otto Soglow, issued by British and American Ambulance Corps., 1942

Materials

Paper; Ink

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

War; Propaganda; Humour; Security; Cartoons; Racism; Men; Espionage; Caricatures; Spies

Categories

Prints; Propaganda; Caricatures & Cartoons; Posters

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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