Previously unpublished photographs of The Beatles, taken by Paul McCartney at the peak of their fame, will be exhibited in the renovated National Portrait Gallery in the summer.
275 photographs were taken on 35mm film between December 1963 and February 1964 in various locations, including New York, London, Washington, Miami, Paris and the band’s native Liverpool. McCartney thought he had lost them, but rediscovered them a few years ago.
The exhibition “Photographs of Paul McCartney 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm” “will provide a unique personal perspective on what it was like to be a Beatle at the beginning of Beatlemania,” said Nicholas Cullinan, director of NPG [via The Guardian].
“The photographs taken during this period capture the very moment when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr turned from the most popular band in Britain into an international cultural phenomenon, from concerts in Liverpool and London to performances in The New York Times. Ed Sullivan’s show in New York in front of a TV audience of 73 million people.
“At a time when the band had so many lenses, these photos will share a fresh look at their experience, taken through the eyes of Sir Paul McCartney.”
McCartney first approached NPG with photos in 2020. “[It was] unusual to see these images — which no one has seen — of such a well—documented, well-known and important cultural moment,” Cullinan continued. “They were made by someone who really was, as the name of the exhibition hints, in the epicenter of the storm, looking from the outside at what was happening.”
McCartney also plans to publish an album of photographs to mark his 81st birthday in June.
The National Portrait Gallery is due to open on June 22 after a three-year renovation. Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will be held from June 28 to October 1.