National Portrait Gallery reopens to show never-before-seen photos of Paul McCartney

The National Portrait Gallery will reopen later this year with an exhibition of previously unpublished photographs of Sir Paul McCartney from his early days in The Beatles.

His archive contains images taken between December 1963 and February 1964 – from the appearance of Beatlemania in Liverpool to a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York for millions of spectators.

In 2020, 80-year-old Sir Paul visited the gallery – which will reopen in June after three years of major refurbishment – after coming across the pictures and thinking they were misplaced.


Self-portrait in the mirror. Paris, 1964 © 1964 Paul McCartney.

Nicholas Cullinan, the gallery director, said in a press conference: “The McCartney exhibition is very exciting.

“Actually, Sir Paul approached us, I recall in 2020 and said he had found pictures that he remembered taking but thought were lost.

“And so we sat down with him and started going through the pictures and they were really phenomenal.

“To see these never-before-seen images of such a well-documented and important cultural moment…

“And the fact that they were taken by a real person, as the title suggests, was in the center of the storm, looking outside to see what was going on.”


Vivien Leigh of Yevonde (1936, in 2022-3), purchased with the Portrait Fund, National Portrait Gallery 2021,

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm will run from June 28 to October 1 and is one of two major exhibits that will kick off the gallery’s summer program.

Yevonde: Life and Color will explore the life and career of 20th century photographer Yevonde, who pioneered the use of color photography in the 1930s and will run from June 22 to May 15. ten.

Supported by the Chanel Cultural Foundation, it will build on Reframing Narratives: Women in Portraiture, a three-year project aimed at improving the representation of women in the gallery’s collections.

The exhibition will include new prints and discoveries, made through research, cataloging and the digitization of Yevonde’s archives, acquired by the gallery in 2021.

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The David Hockney Drawing from Life exhibition will return to the gallery from November 2, 2023 to January 21, 2024 after being cut short in March 2020 due to the pandemic outbreak.

Other exhibitions announced include a survey of African-American artists working in the UK and US, titled The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure, and an arrangement of works. by photographers Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron.

Dr Cullinan added: “Our first year exhibition showcases some of the world’s most famous artists in a new light, containing extraordinary and never-before-seen images, exploring the work of of notable innovators, charting important cultural topography and presenting the greatest contemporary portrait.

“I am delighted to be working with the many incredible artists and supporting organizations to deliver on our most innovative and ambitious program to date, as we guarantee the Portrait Gallery The new country is more alive and exciting than ever.”

The gallery has been closed since 2020 to refurbish the building, re-display the collection, create new gallery spaces and improve the entrance with a new entrance.

It will reopen on June 22. National Portrait Gallery reopens to show never-before-seen photos of Paul McCartney

Fry Electronics Team

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