Currier Gallery of Art

Manchester, NH

(603) 669-6144


Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era


Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era, the acclaimed photography exhibition documenting the rock n' roll era of the sixties, opens at The Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, NH on August 14, 1999 and will be on view through October 4. The exhibition, sponsored by KeyBank and WQLL 96.5 FM, showcases the works of award winning photographer Linda McCartney who, during the 1960s, photographed many of Rock's legends such as the Rolling Stones, the Doors, B.B. King, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Cream, and of course, the Beatles.

'We are extremely pleased to be able to offer museum visitors a rare opportunity to experience the sixties through the eyes of one of the most significant cultural photo-journalists elf the era," said Andrew Spahr, Curator at The Currier Gallery. "As a professional photographer working on assignment, Linda McCartney had unique access to rock personalities, many times capturing them on film early in their careers, before they had achieved international acclaim," Spahr added.

Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era, which includes 36 black-and-white prints and 14 color prints, is drawn from her book of the same title, which also serves as a catalogue for the show.

Linda Eastman McCartney was born and raised in Scarsdale, New York. Her father, Lee Eastman, was a prominent entertainment attorney. Linda studied art history at the University of Arizona in Tucson and while there developed an interest in black-and-white films from Italy and France. Primarily self-taught, Linda was inspired by historically important photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans.

Linda McCartney's career as an internationally renowned photographer spanned twenty-five years. Her exclusive photographs of The Rolling Stones taken in 1966 aboard a yacht sailing Manhattan's Hudson River marked her breakthrough into the world of music and commercial photography. As the house photographer for New York City's Fillmore East concert hall, and then as the first staff photographer for the budding Rolling Stone magazine, Ms. McCartney specialized in capturing the character of the young British and West Coast rock bands as they visited New York City. In clubs and night spots throughout the city, she photographed emerging groups such as The Doors and The Who, capturing them before they became superstars.

"Many of the people Linda photographed became personal friends. Consequently she was able to capture not only the emotional excitement of rock and roll performances, but also the quieter and more intimate moments backstage," said Spahr. "Evident in all Ms. McCartney's photographs is her preference of using only available light rather than relying on a flash. Her approach was instinctive and her images serve as visual documents of a defining decade of this century," Spahr added. In 1967, Linda Eastman visited London, England on assignment to photograph rock bands for a book on contemporary music titled Rock and Other Four Letter Words. Upon her arrival she was invited by The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein to attend the press launch of the group's new album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. While photographing the event, Linda met Beatles singer-songwriter and bassist, Paul McCartney, and two years later they were married.

Paul recorded his first solo album McCartney in 1970, and Linda's photographs were featured on the back and inside covers of the album. She also sang harmonies on the record and later learned to play keyboards and percussion. In 1971 Paul and Linda, with guitarist Denny Laine, formed the highly successful pop-rock band Wings. Linda accompanied Paul on stage for record breaking world tours in 1989-90 and 1993, traveling 230,000 miles and playing for more than five million fans. Her photographs received their biggest-ever display when they formed the massive 300-foot-wide by 110-foot-tall stage backdrop during the 1993 tour.

Linda McCartney's photographs have been exhibited in over 50 galleries and prestigious museums worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England; the U.K.'s National Museum of Photography; The Royal Photographic Society, Bath; the International Center for Photography, New York; and The Reiss Museum in Mannheim, Germany. Her photographs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney are in the permanent collection of Britain's National Portrait Gallery in London. In 1987 she was voted "U.S. Woman Photographer of the Year" by Women in Photography.

Linda McCartney was also a vegetarian, ecologist, ardent animal lover and humanitarian. In 1989 she published her own guide to vegetarian cooking, Linda McCartney's Home Cooking, one of the best selling vegetarian guides in the world, selling 350,000 copies. Linda's Kitchen, another vegetarian cookbook, was published in 1997. Her latest cookbook, Linda McCartney On Tour, was completed shortly before her death and published in October 1998. Last year Paul released the CD Wide Prairie, a collection of songs Linda had been working on for 25 years.

See our prior coverage of the Bruce Museum's exhibition also named: Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era

Images from top to bottom: John Lennon and Paul McCartney, © Estate of Linda McCartney, 1998; The Rolling Stones, aboard the SS Sea Panther on the Hudson River, June 1966, © Estate of Linda McCartney, 1998; Paul McCartney in Liverpool, © Estate of Linda McCartney, 1998


Read more about the Currier Gallery of Art in the Resource Library

For further biographical information on selected artists cited in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 10/18/10

Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2010 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.