The University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography will host the North American premiere of The Linda McCartney Retrospective from February 25 to August 5. This exhibition celebrates McCartney’s 30-year, barrier-breaking career, as well as her connection to Tucson.

The retrospective will include nearly 200 pieces, divided into three broad groupings:

  • “Artists” will include the wide range of portraits McCartney took of cultural and musical icons, including Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Aretha Franklin. These images often captured the vulnerability of future legends in their early days.
  • “Family” will feature images of McCartney’s most intimate relationships, documenting her view of domestic life from Tucson to London.
  • “Photographic Exploration” will showcase McCartney’s many experiments with photographic processes, including never-before-exhibited screen prints from Tucson and a wall of Polaroid prints.
Linda. Scotland, 1975. Credit: © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.

Paul McCartney and Mary McCartney — also a renowned photographer and Linda and Paul’s daughter — curated the exhibition in partnership with the center. “Linda carried a camera with her most of the time capturing images in an instinctive way which left her subjects feeling totally comfortable with the process,” Paul said. “She loved to explore and found ways to make her art joyous and innovative at the same time.”

Linda McCartney took up photography as a hobby while attending the University of Arizona in the early 1960s, taking her earliest photos with Tucson’s Sonoran Desert as a backdrop. The family has never forgotten its connection to the community. In 1979, the McCartneys purchased a ranch in Tucson where Linda would eventually spend her final days.

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Paul, Stella and James. Scotland, 1982. Credit: © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.

The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona collects, protects, and promotes the importance of photography and its enduring cultural influence.

Students will have opportunities to engage with the exhibition through in-gallery musical performances, lectures, and more. The programming will address issues important to McCartney and reflected in her work, including creative arts, sustainability, and animal rights. The center is collaborating on innovative experiences with students and faculty in music, humanities, and architecture.

Sessions on Creative Photography, a complementary exhibition, offers a look at the career of Tucson’s Hazel Larsen Archer, from her instrumental work in photography within mid-century avant-garde art circles to her approach to photo education. Linda McCartney, an Archer student, said, “She inspired me to become a photographer.”

The Linda McCartney Retrospective will be on view from February 25 to August 5 in Tucson, Arizona. The public is invited to a free and engaging Community Day on February 25, 10am–4:30pm (MST).

For more information, visit

Lucky Spot in Daisy Field. Sussex, 1985. Credit: © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.
On Horseback. Scotland, 1986. Credit: © Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney.