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Indepth Arts News:

"Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era"
2000-07-16 until 2000-09-10
Memphis Brooks Museum
Memphis, TN, USA United States of America

It is only appropriate that the exhibition, Linda McCartney's Sixties-Portrait of an Era, should make a stop in Memphis, Tenn. - the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll. The exhibition, on display at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, is a selection of 50 photographs taken by Linda McCartney. The photographs feature some of the greatest names in rock and roll, including Memphis' own B.B. King.

Linda McCartney's Sixties is the first museum exhibition of her work in the United States since her death in April 1998. It is also the first time that a compelling selection of her photographs of twentieth century rock and roll icons is going on a nationwide tour.

Linda McCartney is well recognized for her photography, and the subject matter is very appealing, says museum director, Kaywin Feldman. Since Memphis is so deeply rooted in the story of rock and roll, we feel this exhibition will be of exceptional interest to this community.

The photos to be displayed at the Brooks include public and personal shots of rock and roll groups, including Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, The Doors, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, John Lennon, the Grateful Dead and The Beatles.

McCartney was a personal friend to many of the people she photographed, allowing her to capture more intimate and private moments backstage. In fact, she thought of herself as a band member whose instrument was the camera. McCartney's style of photography has been described as spontaneous and candid, and most of her portraits were taken unposed, using only available light.

There will be 50 photographs displayed on the walls of multiple galleries, says Dana Holland-Beickert, the museum's curator. Most of them are black and white, but several color photographs will also be included. In a fitting epitaph to her photographic career, three photographs on platinum from Linda McCartney's later work are included as part of this exhibition: A sun print portrait of Paul McCartney entitled French Door; a black and white photograph entitled Chile Crowd, taken during the 1993 Paul McCartney World Tour, where Linda's Sixties photographs formed the stage backdrop in a giant 300ft wide and 110ft tall blowup, the size of an office block; and the striking platinum print entitled Stallion and Standing Stone II 1996. This photograph is the last image in this exhibition and was selected as a personal tribute to Linda McCartney who included it in her last gallery exhibition Wide Open which opened in New York in June 1998, a few weeks after her death.

McCartney's career as an internationally renowned photographer spanned almost three decades and was largely influenced by the works of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans. Her exclusive photographs of the Rolling Stones, taken in 1966 while aboard a yacht sailing Manhattan's Hudson River, marked her breakthrough into the world of music and commercial photography. She went on to become the first staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, and there she combined her love of photography with her passion for rock and roll. She specialized in capturing the new British and West Coast bands in New York before their days of stardom.

Linda McCartney, American
Jimi Hendrix, Rheingold Festival,Central Park, 1967

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