Linda McCartney: Retrospective, 1965-1997

14 January 2014

21st February – 4th May 2014
Opening reception Thursday, 20th February 2014

Le Pavillon Populaire, a space dedicated to photography in the city of Montpellier, will showcase the first retrospective in France of the work of photographer Linda McCartney, from 21st February – 4th May 2014. A remarkable set of more than 200 prints and original documents will be displayed spanning her prolific career; from her pictures of the most famous musicians of the ‘swinging sixties’, to her personal and experimental photographs. Her photographic autobiography is also a moving account of family life with her husband, Paul McCartney. She worked with the playfulness of Polaroids and elegantly created a spontaneous visual language. Linda McCartney uniquely combined the innovative spirit of American photographers and the intimate ambition that is found in her most personal photographic chronicles.

Exhibition Curator: Gilles Mora and members of the McCartney family, in collaboration with Claudia Schmid of Linda Enterprises Ltd.

(Click for larger image)

Linda McCartney (1941-1998) - Biography

Linda Louise McCartney (nee Eastman) was born in New York on 24th September 1941. She graduated from Scarsdale High School, Westchester County, New York in 1960, and went on to study at the University of Arizona, where she majored in Art History.

Linda got her first big break as a photographer while working as receptionist at Town and Country Magazine. She used an unwanted invitation to a Rolling Stones promotional party on the SS Sea Panther on the Hudson River in New York to document the event and photograph the band.

Linda became a professional photographer in the mid-sixties. Her pictures during this period chronicled the musical revolution of the decade.

She worked as the house photographer at the Fillmore East in New York City. She also photographed many iconic musicians including; The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, B.B. King, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, The Beach Boys, The Who, Cream, The Kinks, Traffic, The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix and, ultimately, The Beatles.

Linda's photograph of Eric Clapton for Rolling Stone magazine's 11th May 1968 issue made her the first female photographer to have work featured on the cover of the magazine. In 1968, Linda was in London to shoot an assignment on the ‘swinging sixties’. Linda met Paul McCartney at the Bag O’Nails Club and then again four days later at the launch of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at Brian Epstein's house in Belgravia. A year later they married at Marylebone Registry Office, London, 12th March 1969.

After receiving credits on RAM, Linda joined Paul on stage, as keyboard player and vocalist, in Wings. She went on to write and record several songs of her own, including Seaside Woman, released in 1977 through Epic Records in the US, under the band name Suzy and The Red Stripes. Linda’s album Wide Prairie was release posthumously in 1998.

In 1989, Linda began to pioneer another passion, to save the lives of animals through promoting the vegetarian lifestyle that she and Paul and long embraced. Her first two vegetarian cookbooks, Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking and Linda’s Kitchen became international best sellers. Linda McCartney On Tour, was published by Little, Brown & Co in 1998.

Following the huge success of her first cookbook, Linda broke new ground in 1991 by launching her own range of readymade meat free meals, which have become the most popular vegetarian foods in Britain. From an initial choice of just six meals, the range has expanded to more than 40 products.

Linda’s photography has done much to help promote the aims of many varied causes including the anti-fur lobby Lynx, Greenpeace, The Council For The Protection Of Rural England, Friends Of The Earth, The Great Ormond Street Hospital, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Hammersmith Hospital, The British Dyslexia Association, The Rye Memorial Hospital and War Child.

In 1998, Linda came to the aid of two other causes, the cancer charity Bacup and The Starlight Foundation. Each of whom received profits associated with her sponsorship of the world’s first all-vegetarian professional cycling team.

Linda’s work has also reached the cinema screen. Her photographs of The Grateful Dead became the inspiration and focus of Grateful Dead: A Photofilm, produced from a process of making stills photography move and morph that was invented by Paul McCartney. The photofilm was honoured by entry into both the London and New York Film Festivals.

Following her previous work with short animated films (Seaside Woman and Oriental Nightfish) Linda also completed work on another animated short, Wide Prairie, which was shown in 1998.

Linda continued to work prolifically as a photographer throughout her life, documenting, amongst other things, family life, landscapes and the natural world, interiors, and portraits of artists.

Despite her work as a photographer, animal rights campaigner, cookbook author, musician and vegetarian pioneer, Linda said greatest achievement is her and Paul’s four children; Heather, Mary, Stella and James.