Paul McCartney’s Photos Documenting The Beatles’ Rise to Stardom Coming to the Brooklyn Museum

Paul McCartney photo of John Lennnon in London in 1964

Paul McCartney. John Lennon. Paris, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

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.

Paul McCartney's photos of The Beatles as they rose to stardom in the 1960s are an intimate look at the supergroup.

Paul McCartney photo of George Harrison and John Lennon in Paris in 1964

Paul McCartney. John and George. Paris, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

Paul McCartney Self-Portrait from 1963

Paul McCartney. Self-portrait. London, 1963. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1963 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

An exhibition of these images will open at the Brooklyn Museum in May 2024.

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963 64: Eyes of the Storm at the Brooklyn Museum

Paul McCartney. Photographers in Central Park. New York, February 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

Beatles running acress 6th Avenue in New York in 1964

Paul McCartney. West 58th Street, crossing 6th Avenue. New York, February 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

Part historical documentation, part affectionate family photo album, McCartney's images are fascinating.

Paul McCartney Photo of Ringo Starr in London in 1964

Paul McCartney. Ringo Starr. London, January 1964. Pigmented inkjet print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

George Harrison Poolside in Miami in 194

Paul McCartney. George Harrison. Miami Beach, February 1964. Chromogenic print. © 1964 Paul McCartney under exclusive license to MPL Archive LLP

Watch this preview of Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm.

Brooklyn Museum: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by the Brooklyn Museum.

Related Articles:

The Beatles Used AI to Add John Lennon’s Voice to New Song

Listen to The Beatles’ Newly Released Final Song ’Now and Then’

Rare Painting Made by All Four Members of the Beatles Could Sell for $600k

Isolated Vocals From Beatles Song ‘Something’ Reveals Raw Emotion in Each Voice

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content