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HindeSight, Dublin in Postcards.

HindeSight, Dublin in Postcards.

The Little Museum of Dublin presents Hindesight, an exhibition curated by the public.

In the second half of the 20th century, an English photographer called John Hinde revolutionised the way that Ireland was perceived at home and abroad. 

Hinde’s heavily saturated images made the country seem impossibly glamorous. Many of his photographs were instant classics. Together they constitute an iconic representation of Irish culture, scenery and urban topography. 

In the summer of 2023, an exhibition in the Little Museum celebrated the work of John Hinde in Dublin. From buses passing Switzers to street fashion of the 1960s on O’Connell Street, Hinde presents a city that is both familiar and more exotic than ever. The captions for this exhibition were written by members of the public, who submitted their memories of the places captured in the postcards.

Harcourt Street, Dublin. 1960s.

The show was opened by best-selling author Paul Howard, the man behind the Ross O’Carroll Kelly books. Paul’s first job saw him writing captions for postcards in the John Hinde factory in Cabinteely. “Working in John Hinde was my first job after leaving school,” he says. “And it was my best job I ever had. I used to sit in a tiny office on the first floor which had nothing in it except a desk, a chair, a shelf full of books about Ireland and an old typewriter. And it was on that typewriter that I cranked out fifty-word captions for the back of their famous postcards, sometimes as many as twenty in a day. It could be the Rock of Cashel, followed by the Gap of Dunloe, followed by the Ring of Kerry. The challenge was to squeeze all of the information needed into two or three sentences. This was back in the pre-mobile phone days when everyone who went away on holidays sent postcards home. I loved the thought that the captions I was writing were being read by people all over the world. I was 17 years old and I was being paid money to write. What a thrill that was.”

This exhibition was a loving tribute to a postcard empire and a poignant group-memoir of a metropolis that is both familiar and completely different to the city that we know today.

The exhibition was presented by Santa Rita Estates and hosted in partnership with The Heritage Council & The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media.