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The Linda McCartney Retrospective will showcase more than 200 photographs, including images of the McCartney family taken in Liverpool which have never been displayed before.
The exhibition features images of some of the most iconic artists and moments from the 1960s music scene, alongside intimate and arresting family portraits. The photographs capture the world as Linda experienced it, representing the people, places and landscape around her in her inimitable spontaneous and experimental style.
A wealth of ephemera and archive materials will also be displayed, including some of Linda’s journals from the 1960s and a number of her cameras. Contact sheets, Polaroids and sun prints all feature, demonstrating Linda’s creativity and interest in early and experimental photographic processes.
Sandra Penketh, Executive Director for Galleries and Collections Care at National Museums Liverpool, said: “The Linda McCartney Retrospective offers visitors a very special insight into the exceptional talent of Linda McCartney as a photographer. Linda’s ability to capture intimate moments with ease and sensitivity is evident throughout the exhibition, from her relaxed photographs of some of the greatest musicians of all time, to her intimate family portraits, portraying her sense of humour and fun.
“We’re particularly looking forward to displaying a series of photographs taken in Liverpool and on the Wirral which haven’t been exhibited before. From Liverpool’s city centre streets, to Wirral’s coastal spots, it’s fantastic to see these familiar sights through Linda’s eyes.”
Born Linda Eastman in New York in 1941, her interest in photography developed after she accompanied a friend to a photography class while studying at the University of Arizona. Seeing photographs such as Dorothea Lange’s powerful images of 1930s American migrant families, she was inspired to photograph the world around her as she saw it.
By the mid-1960s, Linda was a successful professional photographer known for her portraits of musicians such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin and The Beatles. In 1968, she became the first female photographer to have a cover photograph on Rolling Stone magazine, with her portrait of Eric Clapton.
The exhibition will display Linda’s contact sheets featuring images of the Rolling Stones on the Hudson River, as well as iconic photographs of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album launch and the recording of the White Album at Abbey Road Studios.
Linda was a single mother to her daughter Heather when she married Paul McCartney in 1969. Paul adopted Heather, and the couple had three children together: Mary, Stella and James. Following her marriage, Linda’s work became more intimate and emotive, centring on the daily lives of her family, as well as her love of animals and the natural world.
Her photographs taken in Liverpool feature some of the city’s most famous streets and landmarks. In order to avoid being recognised in public, Linda would often shoot the city through car windows, capturing interesting perspectives with great spontaneity. Windswept images of the family spending time together near the waterfront at Hoylake, Wirral, also feature.
Linda McCartney had a parallel career as a musician, working alongside Paul on the album RAM and as a member of the band Wings. She was an animal rights activist and a passionate advocate of a vegetarian lifestyle, often using her images to support the campaigns that she believed in.
Tickets for Linda McCartney Retrospective are available to purchase online, or from the Walker Art Gallery, priced at £9 for adults and £8 for concessions. Members of National Museums Liverpool receive free entry to the exhibition.
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