Harriete Estel Berman 1984 photographed as the Appliance Lady

Harriete Estel Berman dressed up as the appliance lady in 1984. She is holding the appliance “Eating Out of the Refrigerator.”

Eating Out of the Refrigerator open view

Harriete Berman refrigerator instead of General Electric.

This refrigerators says Harriete Berman instead of General Electric. HB instead of GE. This refrigerator is a copper construction with sterling silver lettering (HARRIETE BERMAN), hinges, latch, and interior details. Nickel plate wire shelves automatically extend as door is opened. This is not a found object but carefully constructed as a commentary on the perceived value of the manufactured objects. The entire piece is made by hand from sheet and wire. 

Additonal commentary includes a comment about early industrial design, planned obsolescence and the values of our consumer society.

Eating Out of the Refrigerator open view with shelves as dinner table.

I first made this appliance because I thought you could tell so much about people's lives by opening up their refrigerator.

LOOK INSIDE  to see a closer view of the many features including a built in telephone, and T.V. freezer without a trace of frost. There is also a toothbrush holder, and radio clock on the door.  The shelf automatically extends as you open the refrigerator.  

Dimensions: 9" height x  6" width x  6"depth


Here is the AD (below) designed to accompany Eating Out of the RefrigeratorThis "ad" parodies the advertising of domestic appliances, and describes the many features of appliance design and the concept of planned obsolescence.

Private Collection
Copyright 1982 Harriete Estel Berman


All of the appliance sculptures from “The Family of Appliances You Can Believe In” were inspired by advertising images from 20th century women’s magazine. In many ways, domestic appliances were the first application of modern industrial design concepts such as planned obsolescence and the invention of a consumer society.

Advertising for refrigerators sold elegance, modernity, and convenience.

Gibson Refrigerator Ad
Vintage ad from the 1950’s for a PHILCO Refrigerator