“Moi, J’ai Une Machine a Laver,” proclaims the girl with kaleidoscope eyes in this stunning French poster from the late 1950s. Thrilled to own a washing machine (machine a laver) at long last, she is beaming as she does her laundry. This advertisement for washing machines, likely done for the Electricite de France, is a joyful celebration of the miracle of technology that brings automatic washing machines into a person’s home.
The dark background of this poster is done with broad strokes of black and blue; the marvelous washing machine itself stands out in white; and the rest of the poster is a riot of brilliant colors. In her left hand, the girl (presumably a young housewife) is holding laundry with yellows and pinks and reds in bright patterns. The folded items stacked on her head are similarly painted with bright colors and brilliant patterns.
Her hair is orange and pink, and her kaleidoscope eyes, rimmed in navy blue, are flecked with red and blue. She is wearing a light blue dress, one side of which stretches along one side of the washing machine, making it look as though she and her wondrous machine have become one.
Laundry day is no longer tedious, with boring whites and dreary darks stacked in their respective piles. Instead, on laundry day, even the laundry itself is transformed into bright colors and fun patterns. The world is filled with color and joy when you have a machine a laver!
This ode to the bliss of owning a washing machine and bidding goodbye to the drudgery of doing laundry was designed by “Lefor Openo” as it says near the bottom of the poster. Lefor Openo is actually the pseudonym used by Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. During the 1950s and 1960s, these two French artists and graphic designers collaborated on creating posters and other art for a wide variety of clients, including Electricite de France, Kodak and Singer Sewing Machines. They also created a line of textiles and houseware items based on their designs.
This absolutely wonderful poster will brighten any room where it is hung. Need a spark of color on your laundry room walls? This is it!