Brain Pickings

Linda McCartney’s Tender Photographs of The Beatles and Other Icons

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What the Queen’s speech has to do with Jimi Hendrix’s fro and John Lennon in color.

Last year, the excellent Nowhere Boy offered an unprecedented look at John Lennon’s unknown early life, and earlier this year, the world took a first glimpse of some rare and intimate photos of The Beatles taken by the Fab Four’s tour manager in The Lost Beatles Photographs: The Bob Bonis Archive, 1964-1966. This month, the quest to know the private Beatles is catapulted into a whole other dimension in Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs — a remarkable retrospective volume of work by the late and great Linda McCartney, wife of Paul, passionate animal rights activist and, above all, formidable music photographer who captured cultural icons like Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel and The Grateful Dead, and was the first woman to land the coveted Rolling Stone magazine cover with her portrait of Eric Clapton in 1968.

The lavish retrospective, from none other than Taschen, features the most compelling photographs culled from her archive of over 200,000 images. From her early portraits of the Swingin’ Sixties to her final years with The Beatles, McCartney’s work spans an incredible range of cultural history and energy, ranging from the quiet poetry of private moments to the palpable creative energy of studio sessions to the riveting exhilaration of life on and behind the stage.

'My Love' - Linda McCartney, London, 1978

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles and Yoko Ono' - Linda McCartney, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Queen's Speech' - Linda McCartney, Liverpool, 1968

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles at Brian Epstein’s House' - Linda McCartney, London, 1967

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'The Beatles' - Linda McCartney, Abbey Road, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Self Portrait, Paul and Mary' - Linda McCartney, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

Besides The Beatles, the retrospective, with text by Annie Liebowitz and Martin Harrison, features priceless photos of other icons, including Jimi Henrdix, Twiggy, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Willem de Kooning.

'Jimi Hendrix' - Linda McCartney, 1968

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek' - Linda McCartney, New York City, 1967

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Twiggy' - Linda McCartney, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'Johnny and Kate' - Linda McCartney, London, 1995

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

'John Lennon In Colour' - Linda McCartney, London, 1969

Image courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery via Flavorwire

Linda McCartney: Life in Photographs is both unassuming and exceptional, humanizing the fetishized concept of celebrity in a way few have managed in the history of photography.

via Flavorwire

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