LIFE The Beatles: Then. Now. Forever
The Beatles never really left us, and have never ceased to be. Meet the Beatles! was the second Beatles album released in the United States, but it’s also what every generation has managed to do during the last half century: discover anew the music and the mythology of the Beatles. In 2018, McCartney’s album Egypt Station reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200. In 2019, Beatles songs were streamed nearly 2 billion times on Spotify. Why?
The Beatles were the big bang that created much of modern youth culture—popular music, concerts, fashion, film, merchandising. “For me, and many others, the Beatles came as a welcome breath of fresh air,” said Stephen Hawking in 1992, speaking on the BBC when choosing Please Please Me as one of his Desert Island Discs. The physicist knew that a collapsing star creates a black hole. And while there were no greater stars than the Beatles, their collapse didn’t leave a void from which no light can escape. The Beatles defied physics and remain luminous. John Lennon sang it, five years after the Beatles broke up: “We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.” On and on, on and on.
LIFE Magazine and the Power of Photography
Princeton University Art Museum; Princeton, New Jersey
Saturday, February 22, 2020 – Sunday, June 21, 2020
Offering an in-depth look at the photography featured in LIFE magazine, this exhibition examines how the magazine’s use of images fundamentally shaped the modern idea of photography in the United States. The work of photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White, Larry Burrows, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Frank Dandridge, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith is explored in the context of the creative and editorial structures at LIFE. Drawing on unprecedented access to LIFE magazine’s picture and paper archives, as well as photographers’ archives, the exhibition presents an array of materials, including caption files, contact sheets, and shooting scripts, that shed new light on the collaborative process behind many now-iconic images and photo-essays.