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Object Timeline

-0001

1947

  • Work on this object began.

1957

  • Work on this object ended.

1982

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Handkerchief, I Like Ike, ca. 1952

This is a Handkerchief. It was designed by Tammis Keefe. It is dated ca. 1952 and we acquired it in 1982. Its medium is cotton and its technique is screen printed on plain weave. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Tammis Keefe (American, 1913-1960) was an influential mid-century textile designer best known for her playful designs, often printed with humorous slogans. One dishtowel in the museum collection features fire engines and the words, “Something’s Burning!,” (1982-79-6) and another, owls and the words “whoooos for dinner” (1982-79-12). Keefe designed this handkerchief with the slogan “I like Ike!” for Dwight Eisenhower’s presidential campaign in 1952. Like printed T-shirts and bumper stickers used in political campaigns today, cheaply-printed handkerchiefs were important campaign tools in the early twentieth century. By 1952, when this example was made, the ‘golden age’ of handkerchiefs had waned and most people used paper tissues. This example might therefore have been intended to appeal to an older generation of voters.

It is credited Gift of Daren Pierce.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 31.1 x 33 cm (12 1/4 x 13 in.)

Cite this object as

Handkerchief, I Like Ike, ca. 1952; Designed by Tammis Keefe (American, 1913 - 1960); USA; cotton; H x W: 31.1 x 33 cm (12 1/4 x 13 in.); Gift of Daren Pierce; 1982-79-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18800215/ |title=Handkerchief, I Like Ike, ca. 1952 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>