First look inside the Linda McCartney retrospective at the Walker Art Gallery

The wives of great men are so often cast in a supporting role, their lives dedicated to helping their spouses from the wings of the world stage.

Not so Linda McCartney, whose creativity and artistic flair was central to the relationship with her husband and Beatle Paul.

This is one of the many takeaways from the Walker Art Gallery‘s retrospective of her extraordinary photography, which opens in Liverpool tomorrow.

The collection of more than 250 black and white bromide prints, colour C-types, Polaroids, cyanotypes and contact sheets demonstrates not only what a talent she was in her own right, but how this first attracted Paul McCartney and was central to their marriage until her death in 1998.

Sarah Brown, photographic curator of the Linda McCartney Archive, says: “She was very much a photographer before she met Paul, and that’s how she met him while on assignment to London.

“She wasn’t meeting these bands because of him. It was because of her work as a photographer and her amazing eye.

“It seems he always supported it. She was given so much creative space. To this day he’s pushing Linda’s legacy to get the great recognition she deserves.”

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