The Beatles (George Harrison; Stuart Sutcliffe; John Lennon)

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© Ginzburg Fine Arts

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The Beatles (George Harrison; Stuart Sutcliffe; John Lennon)

by Astrid Kirchherr
gelatin silver print, 1960
12 1/4 in. x 9 3/8 in. (310 mm x 238 mm)
Purchased, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG P1691

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

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

This portraitback to top

Sutcliffe met Lennon when both were students at Liverpool College of Art, and in January 1960 he joined with Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in their rather shambling, amateur rock group, presently between names but soon to become the Beatles. He was their first bass guitarist. Sutcliffe left the group in June 1961 to continue painting, and enrolled at the Hamburg College of Art after being awarded a postgraduate scholarship. McCartney then became the Beatles' bass player. The Beatles appeared periodically in Hamburg from 1960 to 1962; Lennon later said, 'I might have been born in Liverpool but I grew up in Hamburg.'

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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