Unseen photographs of the Beatles on display in the VG&M

A selection of rare and unseen photographs of the Beatles taken by the German photographer, Astrid Kirchherr, is now on display in the Victoria Gallery & Museum (VG&M).

The exhibition, Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective, charts her photographic career from 1960 when she first met the Beatles in Hamburg until 1967 when she ultimately abandoned photography.

Astrid Kirchherr is best known for her photographs of the Beatles during their formative years and for her association with the Beatles’ original bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe, whom she was engaged to before his tragic death in 1962 from a brain haemorrhage. She was the first person to take studio shots of the Beatles in 1962 and these images capture the innocence and ambition of the Beatles as they took their first steps to stardom. 

The exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view a remarkable collection of more than 70 photographs which encompasses the breadth of her career, and displays previously unpublished and rare photographs of the Beatles on holiday in Tenerife. 

It also features images from Astrid’s time in Liverpool in 1964 when she shot the Beatles as they filmed the movie, A Hard Day’s Night which captures a seminal moment in 1960s popular culture and in Liverpool’s history.

In stark contrast to the buzz of the youth movement in Liverpool at that time, Astrid’s images of children playing in the gritty Georgian streets of Liverpool capture a city that had not yet recovered from damage during the Second World War. Also included in the exhibition are portrait shots of key individuals from the period, including Rory Storm, Gibson Kemp and Klaus Voorman.

Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective runs until 30 January 2011. Admission to all galleries and exhibitions at the VG&M is free and the building is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.

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