Unseen Beatles photos by Paul McCartney to re-open gallery

UNSEEN snapshots taken by Paul McCartney at the height of Beatlemania are to be the headline attraction to re-open London’s famous National Portrait Gallery later this year.

The remarkable photos were taken between December 1963 and February 1964, from the emergence of Beatlemania in Liverpool to performing on The Ed Sullivan Show for an audience of millions.

It was back in 2020 that McCartney approached the gallery, which will re-open in June after three years of major refurbishment – after coming across the images, having thought they were lost.

Now, they will help launch the gallery’s summer programme in a ticketed exhibition sure to draw the crowds.

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will run between June 28 and October 1 and is one of two major exhibitions that will launch the gallery’s summer programme.

“Sir Paul approached us and said he had found these photographs which he remembered taking but thought had been lost,” says gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan.

“We sat down with him and began going through the photographs and they are really extraordinary,” adds Dr Cullinan. “These are images, which are unseen, of such a famous and important cultural moment.

“And there’s the fact they were taken by someone who was really, as the exhibition title alludes, in the eye of the storm, looking outside at what was happening.”

Meanwhile, Yevonde: Life and Colour will explore the life and career of the 20th century photographer who pioneered the use of colour photography in the 1930s, and will run from June 22 to October 15.

The exhibition will include new prints and discoveries, made possible through the research, cataloguing and digitisation of Yevonde’s archive, which was acquired by the gallery in 2021.

And here’s a bonus. David Hockney exhibition Drawing from Life will return to the gallery between November 2, 2023 and January 21, 2024 after being cut short in March 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic.

The gallery has been closed since 2020 for a £35.5 million refurbishment of  the building, redisplaying the collection, creating new gallery spaces and improving access with a new entrance.

For Paul McCartney exhibition timings, ticketing and booking, visit the official website. Images copyright Sir Paul McCartney, courtesy of National Portrait Gallery.

Categories:Film & TV, UK BreaksTags: , , , ,

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