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Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight: The John Hinde Butlin's Photographs Hardcover – June 30, 2009
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John Hinde (see subtitle) was a commercial photographer who specialized in color images for postcards. The Butlin of the subtitle was Billy Butlin, who had a chain of "holiday centres" in Britain that were intended to provide "the jollity and comradeship of a camping holiday, plus all the amenities of a first-class hotel" to ordinary British families. (The book's title--a line of Shakespeare's--was Butlin's business slogan.) Elmar Ludwig, Edmund Nagele, and David Noble were photographers whom Hinde assigned to capture the function rooms, playgrounds, and concessions of Butlin's centers in use by actual customers. Here, 55 of the resulting brilliant, evenly lighted frames are mounted on footwide pages, and their artistic and historical merits are maximized. They show the leisure of mainstream Britons in the centers' heyday, the "swinging" '60s and '70s, resplendently; and their technical brio is the prime topic of Martin Parr's introduction and the three photographers' appended testimonies. Anglophiles and photography buffs should rejoice in the book, but the crowded-room fascination of the pictures should enthrall plenty of nonspecialists, too. Ray Olson
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"Stunningly up-to-the-minute large-format photographs filled with fond ironies...The post card photographers capture the sort of bright, color-saturated period detail you might expect...by turns achingly sincere and unwittingly goofy."
The New Yorker (May 19,2003)
"Just look at the candy-bright hues in John Hinde's delicious collection of vintage postcards of Butlin's...best of all is the romance of the ballroom pictures. Are you dancing? We are."
'Hot Books' Elle
"Long viewed only as a master of kitsch Hinde is now recognised, albeit posthumously, as a peerless social documentarian. Dazzling in their their colour intensity and strange clarity.... Visionary, Wonderful."
Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, London
"Extraordinary...the combination of aesthetics and promotion produced something that bypasses documentary and approaches an arresting British surrealism."
David Jays, Financial Times
"These phenomenal photographs...a cacophony of colour...Despite and because of their artifice, John Hinde's picture postcards are endlessly fascinating, exposing social trends, sartorial aberrations and a particular photographic vision. A delightful book."
The Art Book (June 2003)
"Wonderfully stylized...Check the prodigious use of Adidas three-stripe! Marvel at the tiki dicor blow-out at Butlin's Skegness Beachcomber bar! Remark on just how weird pre-Thatcherite Britain really was!"
"Enchanting and surreal"
Top customer reviews
The fifty-five large, pin-sharp photos in this book capture exactly the feel and ambience of the various Butlin camps around the country. They all show groups of people, indoors and out, eating, dancing (ballroom dancing was always a big draw for pensioners) swimming, relaxing or whatever. Hinde used real campers for these photos and in nearly every one, if you look closely, you can always spot one person who is looking at the camera, I bet they were told to ignore the camera and all the lights and look as if they were having a good time. As these pictures show the British relaxing on vacation there are naturally plenty of men wearing a jacket, collar and tie, on sunny days too!
I think this is a lovely book that captures, with documentary style photos, the seventies look of a unique English institution.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
The book could have served as a style reference book for the set design of Edward Scissorhands.
I bought it as a style reference for my work. I used to collect old Life magazines, catalogues, books whatever but this is everything you'd like to imitate from the sixties design-wise all in one.
And the reproductions are in perfect brilliant technicolor and the book is beautifully done.