McCartney, who was an amateur photographer before his ascent to unbelievable fame, shot the photographs that will be on display between December of 1963 and February of 1964, when The Beatles took America by storm.
The 81-year-old rocker told the New York Times that for years he thought ‘the photos were lost.’
‘In the ’60s it was pretty easy. Often doors were left open. We’d invite fans in.’ he said, recounting a moment when he came across a stolen lyric sheet for ‘Yesterday’ on display at the British Library.
The exhibition, set to run at the Brooklyn Museum from May 3-August 18 of this year, is being called ‘Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm.’
Self-portrait. London, 1963. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1963 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
John and George. Paris, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
The photos take viewers through a whirlwind tour the band embarked upon that spanned six cities, beginning in Liverpool and England, and culminating in Miami.
According to the Times, the pictures from the British leg of the tour are being displayed in small ‘walnut frames, to indicate Britain was still in throes of a postwar recession.’
Once The Beatles and Paul’s camera reach America, the images become more playful and even colorful when they hit the beaches of Miami.
McCartney describes his photographs as ‘having a certain innocence to them.’
‘I think it was a lot more fun than it was. We worked probably 360 days out of the year,’ he said.
The Brooklyn Museum describes the collection as one which takes the viewer ‘inside the frenzy of Beatlemania in 1963–64, when the band’s first U.S. tour skyrocketed them to superstardom.’
The collection features more than 250 of McCartney’s personal photos, which were recently rediscovered after being lost for more than half-a-century.
The exhibit, which is currently on display at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, will also include ‘video clips and archival material, the photographs not only showcase McCartney’s artistic versatility but also serve as a personal and historical record.’
‘The images also evoke an affectionate family album, picturing McCartney and bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr at a time when their lives were changing irrevocably,’ writes the museum.
Ringo Starr. London, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
George Harrison. Miami Beach, February 1964. Chromogenic print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
John Lennon. Paris, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
Photographers in Central Park. New York, February 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
West 58th Street, crossing 6th Avenue. New York, February 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
Some of the photographs will go on sale after the exhibition ends, reports the Times.
McCartney is currently organizing that gallery sale, which he says is ‘a process I like.’
‘I’ve done it a few times with Linda’s work,’ referring to his first wife, photographer Linda Eastman.
The exhibition will feature personal thoughts from McCartney about some of the shots he took at the peak of Beatlemania – before the global sensation became so untenably chaotic that the band ceased touring.