Object Timeline



  • Work on this object began.


  • We acquired this object.

  • We exhibited this object.




  • You found it!

Poster, DADA, 1951

This is a Poster. It was designed by Paul Rand. It is dated 1951 and we acquired it in 1981. Its medium is screenprint on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This classic poster by Rand—based on the cover of a book—creates a rudimentary sensation of depth as the black letters float in front of white ones. Why do we accept this illusion? Similar effects occur in our perception of the physical world, where our visual system assures us that partially hidden objects exist in their entirety. The brain reconnects the interrupted letters because their visible edges align.

It is credited Gift of Various Donors.

Our curators have highlighted 8 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 91.6 × 61.3 cm (36 1/16 × 24 1/8 in.)

It is signed

Signed in graphite, lower right (underlined): Paul Rand

Cite this object as

Poster, DADA, 1951; Designed by Paul Rand (American, 1914–1996); USA; screenprint on white wove paper; H x W x D: 91.6 × 61.3 cm (36 1/16 × 24 1/8 in.); Gift of Various Donors; 1981-29-206

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions How Posters Work and Ephemeral Images: Recent American Posters.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

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/18617493/ |title=Poster, DADA, 1951 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>