Take a stroll through the lens of Paul McCartney’s personal Pentax Camera at the “Paul McCartney Photographs 1963–64: Eyes of the Storm” exhibition. This remarkable compilation features over 250 photographs snapped between November 1963 and February 1964, shedding light on the transformative period when The Beatles ascended to global superstardom. These photographs were discovered within McCartney’s private archive in 2020, they offer a distinct and personal viewpoint, providing a vivid narrative of the iconic band’s rapid journey to fame.
This exhibition is hosted at The Chrysler Museum of Art located in Norfolk, VA. Norfolk is the exhibit’s first stop in the U.S. then it will travel to Brooklyn, NY, before heading to the West Coast.
“It was extremely important to Paul and The National Portrait Gallery, London, to bring his “Eyes of the Storm” exhibition to the States, to not only return to where these photographs were taken approximately 60 years ago, but also to celebrate the role U.S. fans played in the international explosion of Beatlemania” stated Sarah Brown, McCartney’s Photographic Curator and Archivist.
Each section in this exhibit highlights a different city that was pivotal to The Beatles’ career. Cities such as New York, Paris, Washington D.C., and Miami are featured. It also showcases the less glamorous aspects of touring, their first encounters with America, screaming super fans, and overall documents their first taste of stardom. In contrast to the present, where mundane moments are often shared, this time period primarily showcased the polished and perfect side of celebrities. The absence of perfection in McCartney’s photographs adds a unique quality to this collection
“Looking at these photos now, decades after they were taken, I find there’s a sort of innocence about them. 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” says Paul McCartney.
This exhibit is already making waves across the community. Paul McCartney’s team approached Prince Ink Co., a local screen printing company located in Downtown Norfolk, to design a custom shirt for the exhibit. Opting not to import shirts from the UK, they searched for a sustainable, Norfolk-based option. The team admired the use of environmentally friendly inks by Prince Ink Co. and created a custom shirt in collaboration with them. These shirts are for sale now at The Chrysler Museum of Art gift shop.
“Paul McCartney’s Photographs 1963-64: Eyes of the Storm” will be open until April 7, 2024. Admission to the Museum and this exhibition is free of charge.