Martin Parr has been collecting postcards for over thirty-five years; amassing a collection of more than 20,000. An emblem of mass-culture, Parr describes them as “the most democratic art form.” For him, the postcard epitomises the themes of consumerism and kitsch that permeate his own photographic work. Since his publication of ‘Boring Postcards’ in 1999 – a series of postcards depicting the British Isles intended as a comment on the tragedy of the British and their taste – Parr has continued to curate his collection into photo-books that explore and comment on different elements of contemporary culture.
Amassed from around the world, both vintage and contemporary, Parr’s collection of postcards feature a vast range of subject matter and themes, including that of the family Christmas card. From family pets, proudly photographed on an armchair, to a card with three siblings’ faces super-imposed over carol singers, the variety within Parr’s collection offers an intimate insight into the inventiveness that goes into producing the annual Christmas card. The above postcard comes from ‘From our House to your House’, a book which brought together cards specifically from America.