Life in Photographs
Publication Date: May 2011
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A retrospective of Linda McCartney's life and photography
In 1966, during a brief stint as a receptionist for Town and Country magazine, Linda Eastman snagged a press pass to a very exclusive promotional event for the Rolling Stones aboard a yacht on the Hudson River; her fresh, candid photographs of the band were far superior to the formal shots made by the band’s official photographer, and she was instantly on the way to making a name for herself as a top rock ’n’ roll photographer. On May 11, 1968, when her portrait of Eric Clapton was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, she entered the record books as the first woman to have that honor. During her tenure as the leading photographer of the late 1960s’ musical scene, she captured many of rock’s most important musicians on film, including Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors, and the Grateful Dead. In 1967, Linda went to London to document the "Swinging Sixties," where she met Paul McCartney at the Bag ’o Nails club and subsequently photographed the Beatles during a launch event for the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Paul and Linda fell in love, and were married on March 12, 1969. For the next three decades, until her untimely death, she devoted herself to her family, vegetarianism, animal rights, and photography.
From her early rock ’n’ roll portraits, through the final years of the Beatles, via touring with Wings to raising four children with Paul, Linda captured her whole world on film. Her shots range from spontaneous family pictures to studio sessions with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, as well as artists Willem de Kooning and Gilbert and George. Always unassuming and fresh, her work displays a warmth and feeling for the precise moment that captures the essence of any subject. Whether photographing her children, celebrities, animals, or a fleeting moment of everyday life, she did so without pretension or artifice.
This retrospective volume—selected from her archive of over 200,000 images—is produced in close collaboration with Paul McCartney and their children. As such, it is a moving personal journal and a lasting testament to Linda’s talent.
Additional to our limited and art editions, this book is also available as unlimited trade edition.
Linda McCartney (née Eastman) was born in New York in 1941. She took a photo course with Hazel Archer and studied art history at the University of Arizona before settling in New York City, where she began her photo career shooting rock portraits. Outside of her photography, which has been exhibited in over 50 galleries worldwide including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Bonni Benrubi Gallery, and the International Center of Photography, Linda McCartney is known for her passionate animal rights activism and her staunch vegetarianism. She wrote cookbooks and founded her own brand of frozen vegetarian meals, all the while raising a family, continuing to take photographs, and participating as a Wings band member alongside Paul. She died of breast cancer in 1998 at the age of 56.
The contributing authors:
Annie Leibovitz has been a working photographer for forty years. She was the chief photographer for Rolling Stone and then the first contributing photographer for the revived Vanity Fair. In addition to her editorial work at Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she has created several award-winning advertising campaigns. She has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.
Martin Harrison is a historian of art and photography and exhibitions curator. He worked with Linda McCartney on Roadworks (1996), Light from Within (2001), and her exhibitions at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and the International Center of Photography. He has published widely on photography and, most recently, the paintings of Francis Bacon.
Alison Castle received a BA in philosophy from Columbia University and an MA in photography and film from New York University (NYU/International Center of Photography masters program). She is the editor of titles on photography, film, and design, including Some Like it Hot and The Stanley Kubrick Archives.