On 3 May, the V&A announced a major gift of 63 photographs by Linda McCartney, gifted by Paul McCartney and his family. The photographs trace Linda McCartney’s career across four decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s. The collection encompasses portraits of music legends The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as pictures of flora and fauna, and intimate personal portraits, including the McCartney family on holiday. The gift marks the first time that a selection of Linda McCartney’s original Polaroids have ever been made available to the public.

This significant gift dramatically increases the V&A’s existing Linda McCartney holdings, which include Self Portrait in Francis Bacon’s Studio and Horse in Landscape, as well as two portraits of Yoko Ono. These pictures join the National Collection of the Art of Photography, held at the V&A. It is one of the largest and most important collections of historic and contemporary photographs in the world.

A selection of Linda McCartney’s photographs will go on display in the V&A’s newPhotography Centre, opening to the public on 12 October 2018.

Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the V&A, said: “Linda McCartney was a talented eye-witness of pop culture and explored many creative approaches to artistic photography. Her camera also captured tender moments with her family. This exciting gift of photographs complements the museum’s collections of photography that ranges from
documents of performance to fine art. Our greatest thanks go to Sir Paul McCartney and his
family for this incredibly generous gift.”

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