Music of the 1960s Through Linda McCartney's Iconic Snapshots

July 7, 2019

The swinging 1960s in the UK were marked by an entirely new generation of artists, musician, fashion designers and filmmakers who decided to break with the old tradition and explore new liberties. Truth be told, it was indeed a cultural revolution with characterized by mod subculture, popular shopping areas such as London's King's Road or Kensington and Street, the anti-nuclear movement, sexual liberation, drugs consumption, and, of course, The Beatles.

This particular band was a phenomenon which garnered all of the 1960s tendencies in one specific package, and the leading person who managed to capture the atmosphere behind the public persona of the band members, as well as of other celebrities, was Paul’s wife Linda McCartney.

All the way throughout sixth and the seventh decade, she devotedly took portraits of rock stars, as well as of her private life. Reasonably, her contribution to the era and the understanding of The Beatles frenzy are really valuable. At the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow there is now a major Linda McCartney retrospective you shouldn't miss.

Left Linda McCartney taken by Eric Clapton Right Linda McCartney - The Beatles, Abbey Road, London
Left: Linda McCartney taken by Eric Clapton, 1967. © Paul McCartney / Right: Linda McCartney - The Beatles, Abbey Road, London, 1969. © Paul McCartney

The McCartney Photographic Career

Linda McCartney plunged into the world of professional photography around the mid-1960s, and she was the first female photographer whose work (a portrait of Eric Clapton) was featured as the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 1968. The following year, she married Paul McCartney, and naturally, her work became more intimate as she explored the nature, family life and used photography as a tool for the personal articulation of social issues. Until her death from breast cancer in 1998, Linda worked as a photographer and her works were published and exhibited in the UK and the US.

This particular survey is curated by her husband Paul, and daughters Mary and Stella, who were eager to present the full scope of her oeuvre spanning from iconic portraits and moments in music from the 1960s to her later works as an acclaimed photographer.

Linda McCartney - Lucky Spot in Daisy Field
Linda McCartney - Lucky Spot in Daisy Field, Sussex, 1985. © Paul McCartney

The Installment

The installment is thematically divided into seven sections (The Sixties, Family Life, Self Portraits, Animals and Nature, People & Places, Making the Magic, and Scotland (images from the family home in Argyll)). The audience will be also able to see Linda McCartney’s diary from the 1960s for the first time, which reveals how she perceived her photographic practice as well as the burgeoning music scene.

On display will also be ephemera and archive material such as Linda’s photographic equipment and vintage magazines from her grand archive.

Left Linda McCartney - Aretha Franklin modeling for Mademoiselle Right Linda McCartney - Mary, Paul and Heather
Left: Linda McCartney - Aretha Franklin modeling for Mademoiselle, Los Angeles, 1968. © Paul McCartney / Right: Linda McCartney - Mary, Paul and Heather, Scotland, 1970. © Paul McCartney

Linda McCartney at Kelvingrove

It is important to mention that this exhibition was initially on view at the Kunst Haus Wien museum in Vienna, and then at The Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier and Daelim Museum in Seoul. Sir Paul McCartney expressed his excitement regarding the upcoming exhibition:

It is really good having this exhibition in such a cool gallery in Glasgow. The whole family loves to honor Linda’s work – she would have loved this because Glasgow was a place she loved. She loved Scotland because it gave us a lot of fond memories, a lot of freedom and a lot of happy times. It is nice to have all of that encapsulated in the Kelvingrove exhibition.

The Linda McCartney Retrospective will be on display at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow until 12 January 2020.

Featured image: Linda McCartney - The Beatles at Brian Epstein’s home in Belgravia at the launch of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, London, 1967. © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.