The thrifty aesthetics and labor-saving ethos of the New Kitchen came to the fore during World War II. Merchant shipping was immediately targeted by German U-boats, disrupting the importation of food into Britain that had previously amounted to 55 million tons a year. From the outset of the war, the mandatory rationing of food, resources, and furnishings became an ever-present concern. Through posters commissioned from leading commercial artists of the day, the Ministry of Information conveyed messages about the vital need for food conservation, home gardening, and the elimination of vermin from the kitchen. Although the political context is now very different, this poster campaign, with its emphasis on food hygiene, eating locally, and responsible consumption, remains relevant today.
Gallery label from Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, September 15, 2010–March 14, 2011.