The Beatles (Pete Best; George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Stuart Sutcliffe)

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© Ginzburg Fine Arts

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The Beatles (Pete Best; George Harrison; John Lennon; Paul McCartney; Stuart Sutcliffe)

by Astrid Kirchherr
gelatin silver print, 1960
7 1/8 in. x 9 3/8 in. (180 mm x 238 mm)
Purchased, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG P1690

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Astrid Kirchherr (1938-2020), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Taken at the Hamburger Dom fairground, this Astrid Kirchherr photograph shows the Beatles' original line-up, including bass player Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. Shot with no particular purpose in mind, it would become the much-seen, classic image of the Beatles in their formative period, two years before they made their first record. Astrid remained in Hamburg but was sent to England in spring 1964 by the German magazine Stern, to photograph the Beatles during the making of their first film, A Hard Day's Night.

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: Germany (Hamburger Dom fairground, Heiligengeistfeld, Hamburg, Germany)

Events of 1960back to top

Current affairs

Prince Andrew is born, the third child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.
The Contraceptive Pill is introduced in England, dramatically changing the nation's approach to sex and relationships, and significantly contributing to the 1960s culture of liberation.

Art and science

Penguin books defend D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover against charges of obscenity by demonstrating that the novel was of literary merit. The 'not guilty' verdict was seen as a victory for free speech and marked the beginning if a new era of liberalism.
The satirical revue Beyond the Fringe launches the careers of Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller.


Harold Macmillan delivers his 'wind of change' speech to the South African Parliament in Cape Town, announcing Britain's decision to grant independence to many of her colonies. The speech recognised the emergence of African nationalism, and criticised the policy of Apartheid in South Africa.

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