Hatch Show Print
January 3, 2020 - February 28, 2020
Established in 1879, Hatch Show Print reflects the history of American advertising and entertainment, as one of the oldest letterpress design and print shops in America. Each Hatch Show Print poster is a unique creation, individually handcrafted and inked onto paper in a technique that dates back several centuries. The process, known as letterpress, involves selecting (or, if necessary, carving) images carved in wood or linoleum, setting up wood and/or metal type, then inking and pressing these elements onto paper to form a poster or print. Founded by the Hatch brothers, C.R. and H.H., the business blossomed in the 1920s under the steady hand of C.R.’s son Will T. Hatch, who applied his own bold style in hand carving the wood blocks.
For much of the twentieth century, the shop’s vibrant posters served as a leading advertising medium for southern entertainment, ranging from vaudeville and minstrel shows to magicians and opera singers, from Negro League baseball games to B-movies, from member of the Grand Ole Opry like Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl and Ernest Tubb, to rack & roll impresarios such as Elvis Presley and Chck Berry. Today, musicians and entertainers from around the world call on Hatch Show Print to design and print eye-catching, iconic posters, drawing on the shop’s incredible archive of wood type and imagery.
Hatch Show Print now resides in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in spaces dedicated for the print shop; a gift shop offering print work made on site and other items designed in house, books, and more; an education space to introduce visitors to the history of the shop, conduct workshops and invite school groups to visit; as well as a gallery to feature the large restrikes, and art inspired by and made with the shop’s archive of historic blocks by visiting artists and the designers who produce the show posters. Another history property of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Hatch Show Print produces restrikes of classic Hatch poster, in addition to creating new work enjoyed by music fans, graphic designers and art critics worldwide.