Object Timeline

-0001

1951

  • Work on this object began.

1981

  • We acquired this object.

  • We exhibited this object.

2014

2015

2020

  • 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.

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/18617493/ |title=Poster, DADA, 1951 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 June 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>