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Be careful what you say and where you say it!

  • Object:

    Poster

  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (published)

  • Date:

    1940 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fougasse, born 1887 - died 1965 (artist)
    Ministry of Information (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Ministry of Information

  • Museum number:

    E.2172-1946

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2H, shelf DR36, box DISPLAY PREPARATION

Fougasse was art editor of the magazine Punch when World War Two broke out in 1939, and he offered his services free to the British Government. He produced propaganda material for almost every ministry, and his gossiping cartoon characters injected welcome humour into propaganda posters in February 1940. Their popularity set a new tone for official mass communication. Despite an extended and illustrious career as a cartoonist, illustrator and commercial poster designer, it is probably for his 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' posters, issued by the Ministry of Information for display in public transport, that he is best known. During the War, pubs and bars were notorious hunting grounds for spies.

Physical description

'Be careful what you say and where you say it!'; Portrait format poster printed in colours on a white ground. Two men chatting at a bar while Hitler's face appears superimposed on kegs, bottles, beer pumps and even in the froth on their pints of beer. Captioned below the illustration in script, then in larger letters at bottom of sheet 'Careless Talk Costs Lives'. The whole in a red line border; Colour lithograph print.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (published)

Date

1940 (published)

Artist/maker

Fougasse, born 1887 - died 1965 (artist)
Ministry of Information (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Fougasse
Signature; top left corner; lithography.

Dimensions

Height: 30.5 cm sheet, Width: 20.3 cm sheet

Descriptive line

'Be careful what you say and where you say it!'; Design by 'Fougasse' (Cyril Kenneth Bird); One of the series of 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' posters issued by the Ministry of Information during the Second World War; Great Britain; 1940.

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

Summary Catalogue of British Posters to 1988 in the Victoria & Albert Museum in the Department of Design, Prints & Drawing. Emmett Publishing, 1990. 129 p. ISBN: 1 869934 12 1

Production Note

One of a set of eight images on the theme 'Careless Talk Costs Lives'.

Reason For Production: Commission

Materials

Colour printing ink; Paper

Techniques

Colour lithography

Subjects depicted

Beer; War; Spying; Bars; Spies; Propaganda; Pubs; Politics

Categories

Propaganda; Politics; Caricatures & Cartoons; Prints; Posters

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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