This object is currently on display in room 302 as part of Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer. See our image rights statement.

 

See more objects with the tag hands, oil, magic.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1934

  • Work on this object began.

2021

2022

  • You found it!

Poster, Magicians Prefer Shell, You Can Be Sure of Shell

This is a Poster. It was designed by E. McKnight Kauffer and printed by Waterlow & Sons, Ltd. and made for (as the client) Shell-Mex and BP Ltd..

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Merrill Berman as part of Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer.

It is dated 1934. Its medium is lithograph. It is a part of the department.


One of the most successful of Shell’s campaigns featured a broad range of professions that “preferred” to use Shell oil. The posters conveyed the product’s eclectic consumer base by including both the expected (motorists) and the unexpected (actors). To represent magicians, one of the more curious subjects, Kauffer shows two palms in contrasting black and white suggestive of a sleight of hand. A hand, often modeled after Kauffer’s own, became a recurring motif in his work.

It is credited Collection of Merrill C. Berman.

Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

75.9 × 114.3 cm (29 7/8 in. × 45 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Underground Modernist: E. McKnight Kauffer.

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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-4.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/2318805147/ |title=Poster, Magicians Prefer Shell, You Can Be Sure of Shell |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 July 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>