dinsdag 4 oktober 2016

Views & Reviews 50 Years BIRDS OF BRITAIN: LADIES OF THE SWINGING SIXTIES! John d Green Photography

Birds of Britain Hardcover – 1967
by John d Green (Photographer), David Tree (Contributor)
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Macmillan Company; First edition (1967)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1199126640
ISBN-13: 978-1199126641

Art Direction: David Tree. Introduction and captions by Anthony Haden-Guest. Photographs in black and white (Charlotte Rampling, Susannah York, Julie Christie, Diana Macleod, Mary Quant, Marianne Faithfull, Chelsea, Portobello, Lulu, Dusty Springfield et al.) . 4to (cm 36x27) pp. 144 n.n.  "This book presents a phenomenon. She is the new London girl. She is Julie Christie, and Sandie Shaw, and Sybilla, and Susannah York and fifty more in the book, five thousand outside. She is a novel animal, and she is a crucial part of a new scene, that extravaganza of modern London, which has surprised itself almost as much as observers in the outside world. John D Green and his associates went through agonies of choice, and here are something over fifty girls, and not one is the girl. They are the leading actresses, models, pop-stars, exquisites, and kooks, but not one is typical. There are no rules, only exceptions". "In 1961, the high-brow publisher The Bodley Head seemed ahead of the game when it published Bill Brandt's Perspective of Nudes. In 1965, however, things had progressed so far that it was able to publish Cowboy Kate and Other Stories by South African photographer Sam Haskins, a wholly frivolous book that reflected the frivolous side of the decade. This was the first of many similar "soft-porn" books issued by "respectable" publishers, with titles like Six Nymphets, Birds of Britain, and Young London Permissive Paradise" (Parr & Badger, pp. 77, Vol. III)

LONDON.- John d Green’s photographs from his legendary book Birds of Britain, published in 1967 and long out of print, are the subject of a major new exhibition.

For the first time anywhere in the world, fifty years after John’s original photo-sessions for the book, Snap Galleries are hosting an exhibition of photographs from his Birds of Britain archive at their central London gallery. The gallery exhibition features a selection of images from the original book, alongside a number of previously unpublished photographs.

John d Green has never before offered collectors the opportunity to own limited edition photographs from his Birds of Britain archives – until now. John’s signed limited editions are available to purchase in a range of physical sizes to suit every wall space, and edition sizes are small. You can see them here, along with some information on The Big Book of Birds of Britain, the new ultra-large-format limited edition book from the gallery's publishing arm, Ormond Yard Press.

Birds of Britain, an acclaimed book of photographs by John d Green, was published almost 50 years ago, in September 1967.

The book featured John d Green’s strikingly individual, unconventional and witty portraits of 58 of the girls who made London swing – actresses, models, aristocrats, fashion designers, boutique owners and pop singers.

The cover featured a close-up colour portrait of Pattie Boyd, scrunching her nose to try and shake off a beetle painted with a union jack, while inside the covers, the spectacular portraits were all black and white. A contemporary review called it “one of the most exciting photographic picture-books in a time of picture-books.”

Birds of Britain was a huge mainstream success, selling 60,000 copies (at a time when most coffee table books would have a print run of 3,000 copies), prompting newspaper headlines and serializations, TV appearances, outrage from parents of some of the girls featured in the book, a lavish launch party at Sibylla’s nightclub, a high-profile promotional tour of the USA for John, his friend, art director David Tree, and some of the girls, and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

It had all started 18 months earlier, over a pint of beer in Kensington’s Adam and Eve pub with friends in early 1966. John d Green, then one of Britain’s top advertising photographers, had cut his teeth photographing every consumer product imaginable. He was at the top of his game, and highly regarded in the advertising industry, but little known outside it. It was time, he felt, to turn his attention to London’s female pacesetters.

The plan, conceived that night in the Adam and Eve by John and his friends and work colleagues David Tree, Terry Howard and Rowland Wells, was to create a fun coffee table book celebrating all the ladies who were key movers on the London scene. In the process, John would have the well-deserved opportunity to raise his profile outside the advertising industry.

The first shoot, with Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, photographed covered in engine oil, took place on 29 April 1966. Just under twelve months later, in his final session for the book, John photographed Cetra Hearne in a haze of pipe smoke. Six months work on design and layouts and subsequent printing followed, with his close collaborator and art director on the project, David Tree.


In the spring of 1966, British photographer John d Green created Birds of Britain, a celebration of the UK’s 58 most fanciable and recognisable female stars, debs faces and ‘daughters of…’. Published in 1967, Birds of Britain sold well: 60,000 copies, 20 times the original print run. A US tour for John d Green and a selection of the ‘birds’ followed, with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Birds of Britain stars Julie Christie, Dusty Springfield, Suzannah York, Mary Quant, Charlotte Rampling, Mary Gaye Curzon, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Barry (Birkin) and Viviane Ventura. It features Sandra Paul, stylish model who later became wife of Michael Howard, Jane Asher, then girlfriend of Paul McCartney, Martine Bestwick star of two James Bond movies, Hayley Mills child star, actress & daughter of the late Sir John Mills. Fans of The Smiths will recognize the image of The Champions actress Alexandra Bastedo, which appeared on the cover of their album Rank. Pattie Boyd, former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton was the cover star of the original book.
Patti Boyd
Viviane Ventura

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2009

Birds Of Britain by John E. Green (1967)

While reading Pattie Boyd's excellent memoir, Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, And Me, I came across repeated reference to a 1960s book called Birds Of Britain by fashion photographer John E. Green. I was unfamiliar with this title, so I decided to look into it. To my dismay, I discovered that this scarce and out-of-print book is listed in the price range of $200+ by third party sellers on Amazon. Fortunately, my school library had it on hand, so I was able to check it out.

Birds Of Britain (1967) is without a doubt one of the best books on the 60s that I've come across. It is large format in size and features profiles of the reigning dollybirds (models, singers, actresses, and movers and shakers) of Swinging London. Many of the black and white photographs are two-page spreads, which made scanning a bit of a challenge.

The lovely ladies included in the book are: Pattie Boyd, Sandie Shaw,Charly Rampling, Sue Murray, Susannah York, Sue Cornwallis, IngridBoulting, Lady Eliot, Edina Ronay, Rory Davis, Sibylla, Julie Christie, Sarah Miles, Paula Noble, Annette Andre, Susan Hampshire, Lane and VictoriaOrnsby-Gore, Victoria Mills, Jane Asher, Diana Macleod, Angela Pringle, Mary Quant, Marianne Faithfull, Pat Booth, Annabella Macartney, IngridHepner, Shirley Scott-James, Lulu, Juliet Harmer, Susan MaughanMartineBeswick, Alexandra Bastedo, The Jay Twins, Claire Bewick, Hayley Mills, Jane Barry (Birkin), Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, Chrissie ShrimptonVivianeVenturaVenetia Cuninghame, Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs, Cathy McGowan, Sandra Paul, Paddy Carrington-Bates, Shirley Ann Field, Mary Bee, Samantha Juste, Shirley Watts, Vicky Hodge, Cilla Black, Suzanna Leigh, Annegret, Sue Lloyd, Ilona Rodgers, Cetra Hearne, Dusty Springfield

Pattie Boyd - Beatle's Wife, model, and rock muse
Chrissie Shrimpton - sister of Jean and former lady love of Mick Jagger

Mary Quant - legendary fashion designer

Jane Asher - actress and one-time girlfriend of Paul McCartney

Hayley Mills - child star turned serious actress

Charly (Charlotte) Rampling - actress

Jane Barry (Birkin) - actress, singer, fashion icon, and Gainsbourg muse

Alexandra Bastedo - model. Smiths fans may recognize this iconic shot.

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