Eva Hašková
Her prints speak to us engagingly with virtuoso expressive drawing, modulated and harmonized subtle colours and sometimes also with unshouting humour and understanding irony
Eva Hašková
graphic designer and illustrator

The author of the design, academic painter Eva Hašková, is a graphic artist and illustrator, winner of many awards - in the Most Beautiful Book poll or at the Czech Exlibris Triennial. She has had more than eighty solo exhibitions at home and abroad. She is a member of SČUG Hollar.

She graduated from the University of Applied Arts in 1974 under professors Zdenek Sklenář and Jiří Anderle. Already her graduation work from 1974 - illustrations for Nezval's Valeria and the Week of Wonders, which she created using colour combined technique - attracted the attention of the editors of graphic arts and bibliophile prints in Lyra Pragensis, and in 1976 Hašková introduced herself to a wider circle of collectors and bibliophiles with these magical illustrations.

She is mainly engaged in free graphics and illustrations. She works in a combined technique of intaglio, etching and aquatint. Today Eva Hašková has dozens of graphic sheets and illustrations for several dozen books. The fact that her work is received with interest and admiration is evidenced by the fact that her illustrations have been honoured with prizes at exhibitions; in the competition for the most beautiful book of the year she received the Arno Sáňka Prize in 1976 and the Ministry of Culture Prize in 1979, and at the IX. In 1980, at the Biennial of Applied Graphics in Brno (International Exhibition of Illustration and Book Graphics), she received the Vyšehrad Publishing House prize for an exhibited series of illustrations and the IBA Leipzig award for free prints on a literary theme.

Eva Hašková's prints surprise with their richness of tone and often colour range, but always with an interesting and original composition. Her favourite colours are brown and green, sometimes she also uses combinations of blue and purple. Many of her works continue the decorative richness of Art Nouveau both in their overall composition and in the range of floral motifs.

"Awareness of how fragile and easily and quickly and irreversibly destructible are things and conditions worthy of human effort is - I think - an essential feature of Eva Hašková's work. With virtuoso expressive drawing, modulated and harmonised by subtle colour, her prints speak to us engagingly, mostly seriously - but sometimes also with unsparing humour and understanding irony. They speak about the things of life, the real ones, not the artificial ones, with fashionable myopia and short-sightedness, with profiteering expediency and pandering appeal attacking our senses and wallets," wrote Bohuslav Holý on the occasion of this year's exhibition of Eva Hašková at the Hollar Gallery.

Since 1996, Eva Hašková has been creating stamps and in 2018 she won the Czech National Bank's public competition for a commemorative 100-crown banknote.

Martin Srb

Martin Srb was born in 1954 in Prague. He belongs to the circle of the so-called Czech engraving school, which includes engravers who worked for the State Price Printer in Prague (K. Wolf, B. Heinz, J. Schmidt, L. Jirka, J. Mráček, M. Ondráček, etc.). Here he became familiar with the technique of engraving banknotes and with the works of other engravers. In this period he left the engraving of sculpture and finally began to devote himself to engraving as a graphic technique.

As steel engraving is a very difficult technique and difficult to imitate, it is used not only in the printing of banknotes, but also in the preparation of substrates for the printing of postage stamps. That is why most of the authors of engravings for banknotes are also involved in the engraving of stamps for the Czech Post. The first engraving of a postage stamp was done by Martin Srb in 1988. Since then, he has worked on more than a hundred postage stamps and approximately the same number of FDCs (first day covers).

After the collapse of Czechoslovakia in 1993, he was able to work on stamps for the Slovak Post. Between 1992-1995 he cooperated with the CANADIAN BANK NOTE COMPANY in Ottawa, for which he made a number of engravings on stocks and securities printed for the Czech Republic.

He now works as an engraver and designer at the State Printing House of Securities. Recently he has created engravings of portraits of Alois Rašín and Karel Engliš based on designs by ac. mal. Eva Hašková for the commemorative 100 CZK banknotes issued by the Czech National Bank in 2018 (respectively in 2022).

Since 1992, Martin Srb has presented his work at numerous exhibitions and the stamps he has been involved in have won numerous awards on the domestic and international scene.
Since 2020, he has also been a member of the Hollar Graphic Designers Association.

„If I am born again, I will do the same job," confesses engraver Martin Srb of his love for his craft.
Martin Srb
Jiří Harcuba
"Whoever decides to create designs for new Czechoslovak coins must have the courage to enter competitions again and again and risk failing, risk being defeated. He struggles to give his idea a concrete form."
Jiří Harcuba
glassmaker and medallist

Czech artist, phenomenal glass engraver and medallist Jiří Harcuba is the author of the design for the commemorative medal with the portrait of Václav Havel. The medal is based on Harcuba's portrait of Václav Havel cut into glass in 1995.

Jiří Harcuba was a portraitist of extraordinary quality. By combining keen observational talent, sovereign drawing and perfectly mastered craftsmanship, he created a set of unmissable portrait engravings that are unparalleled in the European or world context. He was born into a family of glass engravers in 1928 in the glassmaking town of Harrachov. He learned his craft in local glassworks, continued his studies in glass engraving at the State Vocational Glass School in Nový Bor and between 1949 and 1957 in the studio of Prof. Karel Štipl at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Prague.

He worked as a teacher at VŠUP until 1971 and returned as a professor in 1990, a year later he was appointed rector at the same school. Since the late 1970s, he regularly exhibited and, most importantly, taught abroad - from Germany to Great Britain, Japan and the United States, where he regularly returned and helped build the engraved glass department at schools in Pilchuck and Corning, USA. In 2001, he founded the Dominik Biman School of Engraving, which has continued as the Jiří Harcuba School since 2014.

After a series of experiments with subject matter and form during the 1950s and 1960s, Harcuba began to focus fully on his unique approach to portraiture engraved in glass in his free-form work. His subjects were close friends and family, but above all inspirational figures from his present and deep past. He was interested in artists, philosophers and thinkers, musicians, people he knew and people he imagined and modelled in his mind. With sovereign strokes he delineated essential physical or mental features, abstracting the unimportant to the edge of utmost simplicity.

In addition to glass sculpture, Harcuba also mastered designs for coins and cast and struck medals. From 1964 onwards, he regularly hung competitions. His designs and realisations show a refined sense of low-relief composition combined with thoughtful typography. The faces of important personalities naturally penetrated into Harcub's work as a medallist, but he did not shy away from classical themes of great anniversaries or monuments. He is the author of the circulating 5 Kčs coin from 1966 and the modern version of the 5 Kčs from 1993. Perhaps fittingly, Harcub's last design, realized after his death, also bears the portrait of Václav Havel on a silver minted commemorative medal commemorating the 25th anniversary of 17 November 1989.