The Morrison Hotel Gallery is proud to feature a selection of great and rare photographs of the "World's Greatest Group" from the private estates of late and iconic photographers Robert Whitaker and Curt Gunther. This premiere exhibition will feature photography from 1964-1966 and will be on display to the public at 124 Prince Street beginning June 15.
Back in 1964, when the British Invasion was taking over the U.S., professional photographer Curt Gunther was asked exclusively to go along and document the band's first U.S. tour, both on and off stage. A collection of these rare and historic photos was first introduced to the public at The Morrison Hotel Gallery back in June 2010.
Gunther, who passed in 1991, was an American original. He witnessed the most personal moments of the biggest band in the world as they arrived in and toured throughout North America - just as Beatlemania was reaching a fevered pitch.
Gunther was born in Berlin, Germany and moved to the United States in the 1940's to immediately begin his photography career. Famous boxer Joe Louis gave Curt his first job and paid him $500 to shoot some black and white photos of him. This began what would become a long and successful career of traveling the world photographing celebrities, international leaders, sports figures and events and turning them into a story for his audience. Gunther's images have been seen in numerous publications throughout the world and his work has left behind a powerful and significant legacy.
Renowned photographer Robert Whitaker was born in England in 1939 but described himself as "one part Aussie lad" since his father and his grandfather were both Australian. He began his photographic career in London in the late 1950s but moved to Melbourne in 1961, where he began studying at the University of Melbourne and became part of the small but flourishing arts scene.
Whitaker, who shot classic rock stars such as Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, and wars from Vietnam to the Middle East, had a long and successful career. However, it was his work with The Beatles and especially John Lennon, with whom he became close friends, that Whitaker created his most famous and enduring work.
One of his first assignments was photographing The Beatles during their triumphant second American tour, including the historic Shea Stadium concert in New York. He spent the next two years traveling with the Beatles and shooting them at work, at rest and at play-on their tours, at home, in the recording studio, during private moments, and in formal photo-sessions. His photos from this period include the portraits that were used to form the Klaus Voormann collage-illustration on the cover of the group's landmark 1966 LP, Revolver, and a series of group portraits taken while the group was making promotional films for the singles. Whitaker also accompanied the band on their 1966 tour of Japan, the same year in which he famously photographed The Beatles' Yesterday and Today album cover, aka the "butcher cover".
The iconic British photographer recently passed away in 2011. The Morrison Hotel Gallery was proud to have presented shows with Robert in both New York City and La Jolla over the years.
"Morrison Hotel Gallery is proud to represent the work of these accomplished and talented photographers and to work alongside their families to uncover these rare, wonderful and unknown photographs of a group that is so well-known to the world." Says Peter Blachley, gallery owner.