The Beatles

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In August 1967, The Beatles and their band manager Brian Epstein enlisted the photographer Richard Avedon to help visualize the psychedelic foundations of their groundbreaking eighth studio album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which debuted a few months earlier. Through color manipulation, Avedon created hallucinatory, Day-Glo portraits of the Liverpool band brimming with symbolism of psychedelia, peace, and love—John Lennon gazes out through swirling glasses, Paul McCartney holds flowers, George Harrison is decorated with henna, and Ringo Starr carries a dove. At the shoot, Avedon also captured serene, black-and-white portraits of the Fab Four in simple black shirts, which later became known as the “Mount Rushmore” images of the group. A year later, Avedon’s photographs—along with collectible posters—were released simultaneously in popular magazines across the world, including Look in the United States, The Daily Express in the United Kingdom, and Stern Magazine in Europe. …

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