Peter Behrens. Electric Kettle. 1909

Peter Behrens Electric Kettle 1909

  • Not on view

The first electric kettle appeared in the 1890s, but the potentially hazardous proximity of water and electricity and the lack of effective electricity distribution networks delayed its widespread acceptance. Though it was competitively priced for domestic and export markets, AEG's kettle was still more expensive, smaller, and slower to heat the water than a conventional kettle on a gas or wood burner. This comparative inadequacy was overshadowed, however, by effective branding, high-quality materials and construction, and modern styling, which was developed by Germany’s foremost industrial designer to fit in with both living rooms and kitchens.

Gallery label from Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, September 15, 2010–March 14, 2011.
Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft (A.E.G.), Germany
Nickel-plated brass and rattan
9 x 8 3/4 x 6 1/4" (22.9 x 22.2 x 15.9 cm)
Gift of Manfred Ludewig
Object number
© 2020 Peter Behrens / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany
Architecture and Design

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].