Object Timeline

1947

  • Work on this object began.

1963

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2015

2020

2021

Poster, A Subway Poster Pulls, 1947

This is a Poster. It was designed by E. McKnight Kauffer and made for (as the client) New York Subway Advertising Company. It is dated 1947 and we acquired it in 1963. Its medium is screenprint. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.


With a renowned reputation for public transport posters in London, Kauffer utilized his design skills to promote the New York City network in 1947. This poster encourages businesses to purchase poster space in the New York subway system, where their message will have a magnetic power of attraction. Kauffer includes a triangular slice of commuters, the mobile and eager audience for advertising.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Laws of Attraction.

This object was donated by Mrs. Edward McKnight Kauffer. It is credited Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer.

Its dimensions are

H x W (linen backing): 125.7 × 84.7 cm (49 1/2 × 33 3/8 in.) H x W (irreg.): 116.2 × 76.5 cm (45 3/4 × 30 1/8 in.)

It is signed

Printed in script, in gray, lower right: E. McKnight Kauffer.

It is inscribed

Lower right in gray: [NYSA logo]

Cite this object as

Poster, A Subway Poster Pulls, 1947; Designed by Edward McKnight Kauffer (American, active England, 1890–1954); USA; screenprint; H x W (linen backing): 125.7 × 84.7 cm (49 1/2 × 33 3/8 in.) H x W (irreg.): 116.2 × 76.5 cm (45 3/4 × 30 1/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer; 1963-39-119

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18447145/ |title=Poster, A Subway Poster Pulls, 1947 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 September 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>