The National Portrait Gallery announces new Beatles exhibition
After more than a half-century, it’s hard to believe that there are still photographs of The Beatles that have never been seen. But there are. In fact, there are enough photographs for the National Portrait Gallery in London to announce a brand new exhibition. Even more noteworthy, the photographs were taken by Paul McCartney as the band was rising to international stardom.
While the exhibition (and the gallery) won’t be opening until June, fans can celebrate now with a variety of memorabilia and products that honor the legendary band. Whether it’s wall art, vinyl albums, a decorative light, a T-shirt or some other memorabilia, you can embrace and proclaim your undying Beatlemania with these items.
What is the National Portrait Gallery?
The exhibition is called “Paul McCartney Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of The Storm.” It opens on June 28 and runs until Oct. 1 at London’s National Portrait Gallery. Not to be confused with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, which is much younger, this institute houses the world’s greatest collection of portraits, which spans over six centuries. According to the National Portrait Gallery, “We celebrate the power of portraiture to create person-to-person connections.”
The museum closed its doors in 2020 to undergo extensive renovations, which included the refurbishment of nine galleries, the redevelopment of the East Wing of the museum and the addition of a Learning Centre. It will reopen its doors to the public on June 22 with the “Yevonde: Life and Colour” exhibition. Yevonde was a London photographer who pioneered the use of color in portrait photography in the 1930s.
Why are these Beatles photographs so important?
There are three reasons why these photographs are so important to the history of the Beatles. First, the photographer was Paul McCartney. As the title of the exhibition indicates, he was the “Eyes of the Storm.” The pictures, taken on a 35-millimeter camera, reveal what caught the eye of the burgeoning global superstar. This is not another collection of photographs looking in, it is an extremely rare collection that is looking out.
Second, the time frame makes these photographs vital to the band’s history. They were captured during the era when The Beatles were actively changing the world, an intense three-month period between December 1963 to February 1964, when The Beatles were outgrowing their own country.
Third, these photos have been lost to the world for the last half-century. This is the first time they are available for the public to view.
What was Beatlemania?
Beatlemania was the term for the hysteria that overtook fans of the musical group in the mid-’60s. The intensity and level of fanaticism were unprecedented in the world of pop culture. The band found it incredibly frustrating because it was impossible for crowds to actually hear their music above the non-stop high-pitched screaming and manic behavior of the audience. To stay safe, The Beatles traveled to concerts in an armored car. Ultimately, the restrictions imposed by Beatlemania led to the group becoming a studio-only band.
Best Beatles memorabilia
This book is for anyone who has a fascination with the creative process. It’s a glimpse of the nuts and bolts of The Beatles’ songwriting. There are over 100 songs examined in this book. Some of the lyrics have been reproduced from the original documents to show early versions, scribbles, revisions and more. Sold by Amazon
A definite collector’s edition, this album features a new stereo mix of classic songs. There isn’t an unfamiliar track on the entire album. All the audio was sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. Sold by Kohl’s
D’Addario isn’t a company that makes memorabilia; it manufactures musical instrument accessories. The 15 picks in this collector’s tin are high-quality items printed with Beatles artwork. You can use these picks on any instrument that is strummed or picked, such as an electric guitar, a bass guitar, a ukulele, an acoustic guitar and more. Sold by Amazon
With this graphic toddler tee, you can get your kid started on Beatles appreciation at a young age. It’s a white shirt with a pink collar and short pink sleeves that dons a portrait of the band on the front. Sold by Kohl’s
Talk about iconic moments. This durable artwork features The Beatles with Ed Sullivan. It’s printed on an artist-grade canvas professionally hand-stretched and stapled over North American pine-wood bars in a gallery wrap style. Sold by Wayfair
Great ideas are always appreciated. This is an officially licensed crossbody purse with faux leather and faux leather tassels. What makes it so unique is the design. The multi-colored bag is covered in Beatles ticket stubs, making it a must-have for any fan. Sold by Amazon
Not sure if you’re coming or going? This clever doormat can help. It features the lyrics, “you say goodbye and I say hello,” printed on the mat to cover both hellos and goodbyes. It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Sold by Amazon
This is a ready-to-hang framed piece of artwork featuring The Beatles. The print is brightly colored, making it bold enough to serve as an accent piece in any room. Sold by Home Depot
It’s not the original, but it’s an incredible memorabilia reproduction. The goodies in this pack include replicas of concert tickets, newspaper articles, club notices and more. They’re primarily from the mid-’60s and are a definite must-have for fans. Sold by Amazon
This fun and decorative LED neon-style sign features a silhouette of the iconic walk across Abbey Road. It can be hung in a studio, office, bar, living room, game room or other favorite location. It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Sold by Wayfair
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