Rare portraits of the Fab Four on the cusp of world fame
Astrid Kirchherr, an immensely talented art and fashion student in postwar Hamburg, was poised for a meteoric rise to success in the 1960s art scene thanks to her sense of style and keen eye. A protégé of the great photographer Renhart Wolf, Kirchherr was ready to take the culture and style of her native city worldwide when she met John, George, Paul, Peter and a bassist and painter named Stuart Sutcliffe. In 1962, she met the Beatles.
Kirchherr would go on to photograph these teenagers as they became young men, and portrayed them as only she could, with precise shots, technical mastery and a totally unique style and attitude.
Kirchherr’s brief photography career was marked by serendipitous highs and devastating lows. Sutcliffe died just as the pair were about to marry, and Kirchherr, who photographed the band as they toured Europe, resented being reduced to a “Beatles photographer.”
Astrid Kirchherr with the Beatles finally does justice to Kirchherr’s masterful body of photographic work, celebrating her artistic approach, her dedication to technical excellence and, of course, the subjects who she made look so great: the original Beatles, artists like Klaus Voorman and the teenagers of Hamburg and Liverpool.
Astrid Kirchherr (born 1938) is a German photographer and artist. Though she has taken very few photographs since 1967, her early work—including some of the most iconic images ever taken of the Beatles—has been exhibited internationally.