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Object Timeline

1942

  • Work on this object began.

1987

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Poster, A Careless Word, 1942

This is a Poster. It was designed by Anton Otto Fischer and made for (as the client) Office of War Information. It is dated 1942 and we acquired it in 1987. Its medium is lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Many wartime posters cautioned against sharing information that could potentially aid the enemy by incorporating symbols and slogans that helped to visualize the implied discretion. This poster from 1942 is rendered in a more painterly style than other examples from that era (abstract expressionism was a popular aesthetic), a reflection of the illustrator’s background. Anton Otto Fischer studied fine art in Paris before moving to the United States in 1908.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled A Painterly Warning.

This object was donated by Unknown donor: unsolicited gift. It is credited Gift of Unknown Donor.

Our curators have highlighted 7 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

H x W: 94.8 × 72.5 cm (37 5/16 × 28 9/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Poster, A Careless Word, 1942; Designed by Anton Otto Fischer (German, active USA, 1882–1962); USA; lithograph on paper; H x W: 94.8 × 72.5 cm (37 5/16 × 28 9/16 in.); Gift of Unknown Donor; 1987-24-25

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition How Posters Work.

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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/18622271/ |title=Poster, A Careless Word, 1942 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>