Beatles' Photographer Astrid Kirchherr's New Retrospective

Posted by David Ozanich — 22 Nov 2010


Something must be in the air, because there is tons of Beatles news lately. There's a new book out called "Astrid Kirchherr: A Retrospective" which collects the photographs of Hamburg-born photographer Astrid Kirchherr. She is most famous for taking early, iconic shots of The Beatles starting in 1960. She met them during their days playing the German music scene and quickly began dating Stu Sutcliffe, the original bass player.

Even after Sutcliffe died suddenly in 1962, she remained close to the band and was one of the few photographers allowed access to them during the filming of their iconic film "A Hard Day's Night."

Astrid and Stu.jpgKirchher and Sutcliffe in a self-portrait

I recommend listening to this fascinating interview with Kirchherr on the NPR program "Fresh Air".

Kirchherr tells Terry Gross that when she first saw the Beatles playing in a basement dive in Hamburg -- a "dark, filthy cellar ... not the kind of place where young ladies in the '50s or '60s were seen" -- she was "amazed at how beautiful these boys looked. It was a photographer's dream."

There's more on her work in the Examiner which gives the book five stars:

This book is a fascinating look at an artistic photographer and her work with the Beatles and others. Fans who are familiar with her work will be interested to see the "uncropped" photos of the Beatles, as her technique was to not come up close with the lens. She preferred standing back and waiting for her subjects to settle into their expressions. She cropped them into close-ups after development.

Seventy of her photographs are currently on display at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool, England until January 29th, 2011.


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