About John Hinde

John Hinde was an important pioneer of colour photography in Britain and, since the Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin exhibition in 1993, is becoming recognised as a significant figure in the social history of photography. 

His career began in early '40s London as a photographer and photo-enthusiast, absorbed by the new technology of colour photography and among the first to be published in colour, in early colour magazines and in essays made for the illustrated books Of Cabbages and Kings, Citizens in War, and British Circus Life.  While on assignment for the latter, he decided to join Chipperfields’ Circus as its manager. While on tour with Chipperfields, he met his wife, the trapeze artist Jutta. He decided to start his own circus in Ireland: bought a circus tent, hired performers and began to tour. The venture was a disastrous failure.

Without losing his entrepreneurial spirit, he returned to photography having identified a gap in the market for colour, rather than monochrome, postcards of Ireland.  He began on his own, issuing his first 6 postcards in 1957, before recruiting a team of photographers, mainly from Germany (because of German photographers’ high technical standards). He became one of the most successful postcard publishers in the world.   

John Hinde died in 1998, in retirement in the Dordogne, having sold the postcard publishing company in 1972.  His archives are part of the Royal Photographic Society collection housed at the National Museum of Photography, Bradford.

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