Lester Beall. Rural Electrification Administration. 1937

Lester Beall

Rural Electrification Administration


Not on view
40 x 30" (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Gift of the designer
Object number
Architecture and Design
This work is not on view.
Lester Beall has 14 works online.
There are 8,569 design works online.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program, the Rural Electric Administration (REA) was created in 1935 to bring electricity to impoverished areas where as few as 10 percent of homes had electric power. The REA was able to build on Thomas Edison's success in marketing radios and phonographs to rural communities in the early twentieth century. The poster's core message was simple: radio would relieve the isolation of a lonely homestead. The patriotic color scheme implied that this was in the national interest, creating a more cohesive society through the spread of electrically powered amenities to all regions and social groups.

Gallery label from Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye, November 15, 2014–January 17, 2016

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