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Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm

Sep 14, 2024 - Jan 19, 2025
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR
Included with general admission
General accessibility


Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm is an unprecedented exhibition, revealing extraordinary photographs taken by the beloved musical icon. Organized by the National Portrait Gallery in London, the exhibition will open at the Portland Art Museum on September 14, 2024, and run through January 19, 2025.

Comprised of recently rediscovered photographs from Paul McCartney’s personal archive, more than 250 pictures invite visitors to intimately experience The Beatles’ meteoric rise from British sensation to international stardom. At a time when so many camera lenses were turned toward them, McCartney’s perspective from the inside out brings fresh insight into the band, their experiences, the fans, and the Beatlemania phenomenon. Through these photographs, along with video clips and archival material, visitors can witness the dawn of the “British Invasion” that fundamentally transformed rock and roll music and American society.

Black and white photo of John Lennon and George Harrison
Paul McCartney, John and George. Paris, 1964. © 1964 Paul McCartney

Captured by McCartney during a pivotal three-month period for The Beatles in late 1963 and early 1964, the photographs evoke an affectionate family album, picturing his fellow band members, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, at a time when their lives were changing irrevocably. The exhibition gives visitors a highly personal glimpse into an extraordinary time with one of music’s enduring legends.

The exhibition also captures McCartney’s interest in the visual arts, with his photos reflecting the aesthetics and popular culture of the period. The range of work, from portraiture and landscape photos to documentary images, reveals McCartney’s familiarity with the formal styles of early 1960s photography. References to New Wave, documentary filmmaking, and photojournalism can be found across the exhibition.

Black and white photo of Ringo Starr smiling and shaking his head
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr. London. © 1963 – 1964 Paul McCartney

“Looking at these photos now, decades after they were taken, I find there’s a sort of innocence about them,” said Paul McCartney. “Everything was new to us at this point. But I like to think I wouldn’t take them any differently today. They now bring back so many stories, a flood of special memories, which is one of the many reasons I love them all, and know that they will always fire my imagination.”

Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm is curated by Paul McCartney with Sarah Brown on behalf of MPL Communications Limited and Rosie Broadley for the National Portrait Gallery, London, and organized for the Portland Art Museum by Julia Dolan, Ph.D., the Minor White Senior Curator of Photography.

Black and white photograph of two photographers taking photos
Paul McCartney, Photographers in Central Park. New York, 1964. © 1964 Paul McCartney.