Friday, 25 September 2015

Charles Hasler Send his Greetings

MoDA's Head of Collections, Zoe Hendon, reveals the detail of MoDA's latest publication.

This week the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture held a launch party for our new book Charles Hasler Sends His Greetings.  We were pleased to be able to hold the event at the House of Illustration in Kings Cross, and we had a great turnout, despite the torrential rain.  Thanks to all who came along!

Charles Hasler Sends His Greetings is a taster of the many wonderful things contained in MoDA's Charles Hasler collection.  Hasler (1908-1989) was a typographer and graphic designer. His collection reflects his magpie tendencies and wide-ranging interests: it contains all kinds of printed and paper ephemera, from Victorian postcards to examples of work by big-name contemporaries such as Abram Games and Edward McKnight Kauffer.  (We've featured Christmas cards and notgeld (banknotes) from Hasler's collection on this blog before).

Professor Phil Cleaver, Middlesex University 

At Monday's launch event we were privileged to be joined by Professor Phil Cleaver, who opened the proceedings; and by Hasler's daughter Caroline, who provided some fascinating background to her father's life. The book's author, Jane Audas (freelance writer, curator and blogger), also gave a short preview of its contents and explained about Hasler's involvement with the Festival of Britain.

Caroline Hasler (left) sharing some examples of her father's work

As Professor Cleaver pointed out, the Hasler collection is a fabulous resource for students since it shows  something of the process of design (the messy, the unfinished, the work in progress) as well as the final product.  It's fascinating as evidence of the way graphic designers worked in the pre-digital age; everything had to be drawn by hand, and the collection as a whole was built up to meet the need for visual reference long before Google and Pinterest became available.  And though Hasler is not well known as a designer, he was certainly associated with the best designers of his times, and his collection therefore includes rare examples of greetings cards, invitations and magazine covers by his friends such as Paul Nash, Barbara Jones, Edward McKnight Kauffer and Abram Games.  

We hope the book is the beginning of further research into both Hasler himself and the many fascinating aspects of his collection. 

Charles Hasler Sends His Greetings is available to order from MoDA's online shop

Charles Hasler Sends His Greetings: the Ephemera Collection of a Mid-Century Designer

Foreword by Phil Cleaver, introduction by Zoe Hendon, essay by Jane Audas. 

Published by the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, Middlesex University, Sept 2015.

Format: Hardback, 148.5mm x 210mm, 57 colour illustrations

Price: £15

ISBN: 978-0-9565340-5-7

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