June 26 – September 12, 2003
BABBETTE HINES COLLECTION OF PHOTOBOOTH PORTRAITS IS A MOVING RECORD OF 75 YEARS OF SELF-PHOTOGRAPHY
As a collector and dealer of vernacular photography, Babbette Hines has combed through trash and forgotten boxes to discover discarded images of men and women who crowded into photo booths to capture a moment on a little strip of film. Hundreds of these spontaneous images, taken over a span of 75 years, have been brought together for the first time in an exhibition appearing at the Griffin Museum of Photography, June 26 through September 12, 2003.
Photobooth is at once a rush of instant intimacy and a total immersion in the pleasures or vernacular photography. The people captured in the moment are diverse in age, ethnicity and manner. Their only link is that they entered a photo booth, put their money in, closed the curtain and tried not to blink when the flash popped. With no photographer present, these portraits are as candid as they come, capturing the charm and anonymity of the photo booth itself. The results are uninhibited, often goofy and occasionally touching.
“These images force us to recognized the beauty in the ordinary and evoke a sense of nostalgia that everyone can relate to,” explained Griffin Museum Executive Director Blake Fitch. “It’s hard not to look at the portraits and wonder what the subjects were thinking and doing. You make up stories and give life to the images based on your own experience.”
In 2002, Babbette Hines produced a book featuring seven hundred of her photo booth portraits. The Photobooth exhibition represents the first time her extensive collection has been on display for the public. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Griffin Museum is featuring a real photo booth. Visitors are encouraged to become part of the exhibit by capturing their photo booth image and mounting it for display at the Museum.
PHOTOGRAPHS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST