Christmas card, 'Donna, Dahl & Geoffrey Collings', paper, featuring black and white photographs of Dahl and Geoffrey Collings and Donna Collings as a baby on the front, and an image of a seagull in flight on the back, designed by Dahl and Geoffrey Collings, London, England, 1937
This is one of the loveliest 'personalised' photographic Christmas cards in the Powerhouse Museum¬?s collection. Designed by Australian husband and wife art, design and photography duo, Dahl and Geoffrey Collings, it was created while they were living and working in London during 1937, to celebrate their collaborative contemporary approach to design and photography, and the birth of their daughter, Donna Collings in 1937.
The card features soft, subtle colours and a gentle combination of illustration, photography and collage typical of the work the Collingses were producing at the time. Inside is a delightful illustration of a dove in flight carrying an olive branch - a singular symbolic wish for peace in the turbulent years leading up to the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The hand-writtten inscription, ¬?Donna, Dahl & Geoffrey Collings¬? appears like a signature along the front right-hand side of the card.
It is one of many artist-designed Christmas cards in the Dahl and Geoffrey Collings design and photography archive acquired by the Powerhouse Museum as a donation in 2007 from Dahl and Geoffrey Collings's daughters, Donna and Silver.
The related black and white seagull photographic negatives (2007/30/1-69/2/5) were unearthed when the 1930s photographic component of the Collings archive was being catalogued during 2012. One seagull image has cleverly been incorporated into the graphic design of the card. Dahl Collings is seen in another negative from this series, standing on the deck of a ship, feeding a seagull. She and Geoffrey Collings travelled by ship to Spain and then England in 1935, returning to Australia via Martinique and Tahiti just in time for Christmas, 1938.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven