After debuting last year at London's National Portrait Gallery, Paul McCartney's unseen photos of The Beatles as they became international icons will be shown in New York. Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm takes us into the frenzy that was Beatlemania as the Fab Four toured six cities and touched down in America for the first time. On view at the Brooklyn Museum from May 3, 2024, the exhibition will present a fascinating look at this special moment in music history.
Taken on McCartney's 35 mm camera, the mostly black and white photos follow the band in Liverpool, London, and Paris before they hop stateside to tour. It was also during this time that they gave their iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which skyrocketed them to fame. Given McCartney's place in the group, he was uniquely positioned to take these images, which serve both as a historical archive and as an affectionate photo album of four close friends.
“Since first arriving in New York in February 1964, Paul McCartney has built a strong, everlasting connection to the city. His vibrant photographs from The Beatles’ first visit capture the energy of the city, the excitement of the American fans, and the frenzy of the band’s status as celebrities. Yet the images also record The Beatles’ fun and delight with each other. Through McCartney’s lens, we feel the intensity of being at the center of such extraordinary events,” says Catherine Futter, director of curatorial affairs and senior curator of decorative arts.
From a cheeky image of the photographers who were hunting down the group to George Harrison relaxing poolside in Miami, the photographs are a fascinating first-person view of the life of young megastars. McCartney's pictures are intimate, but they also have the eye of a documentarian who realizes that his life is about to change.
Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from May 3, 2024, to August 18, 2024. For those who can't make the show or simply wish to take a piece of the exhibition home, a full catalog of the 275 images was published last year and is available for purchase.