Previously unseen images taken by Paul McCartney as The Beatles shot to global fame are a highlight of a new series of exhibitions to mark the reopening of The National Portrait Gallery on June 22nd. Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm includes some of the best images the former Beatles bassist recently discovered in his archive.

Paul McCartney exhibition

John and George, Paris. 1964 © 1964 Paul McCartney

‘This exhibition provides a uniquely personal and never-before-seen perspective on what it was like to be a ‘Beatle’ at the start of ‘Beatlemania’ – from gigs in Liverpool and London to performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York to an unparalleled television audience of 73 million people,’ the organisers explained.

‘At a time when so many camera lenses were on the band, these photographs will share fresh insight into their experiences, their fans and the early 1960s, all through eyes of Paul McCartney.’ A 336-page book, 1964: Eyes of the Storm, is being published to coincide with the exhibition.

Paul McCartney exhibition

Self-portraits in a mirror. Paris, 1964 © 1964 Paul McCartney.

Other events to mark the reopening include an exploration of the life and career of the photographer Yevonde, who pioneered the use of colour in the 1930s. Reflecting the growing independence of women at that time, this exhibition will focus on the freedom photography afforded the photographer, who became an innovator in new techniques, experimenting with solarisation and the Vivex colour process. Yevonde: Life and Colour will include new prints and present discoveries, made possible through the research, cataloguing and digitisation of her archive, acquired by the gallery in 2021.

Other events will include celebrations of leading black artists and women photographers, including Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron. Full details of all exhibitions can be found here.

Check out the best photography exhibitions to see in 2023 here.

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