Mass Observation was founded in 1937 as a radical experiment in social science, art and documentary. Its founders aimed to create a new kind of realism in response to the economic and political conditions leading up to World War II, aiming to create an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ through artistic means and by collecting anecdotal evidence from people’s everyday lives and experiences.
Included in the exhibition are several photographs by John Hinde from our collection which we have loaned for display.
John Hinde (1916–1997) was a pioneer of colour photography in Britain. The John Hinde Archive is a collection of outstanding importance which covers his lifetime’s work—from early experiments in black and white photography to early colour processes and commercial postcard photography.
The archive contains over 1,000 items: here are just a few.