“Mad Day Out,” an exhibit of 25 never-before-exhibited photographs of the Beatles taken at random London locations one day in July 1968 will open officially this Friday, Nov. 12, at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
The Fab Four photos taken by former music photographer-turned-cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt (“Batman Forever, “Prince of Tides,” and other films”) is the latest coup by the journalism school’s Center for Photography, which has organized the exhibit at its gallery at North Gate Hall.
Past exhibits have featured legendary photographers such as James Nachtwey, Sebastiao Salgado and Wayne Miller, and topics including American presidents, the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Vietnam War, and Chicago’s South Side.
Ken Light, curator of the Center for Photography and an adjunct assistant professor at the journalism school, said North Gate’s gallery is the only exhibit space anywhere to display these photos of the Beatles, photographed in the midst of recording “The White Album.” North Gate, Light said, “is the center of the universe for this stuff.”
Mad Day Out formally launches with a 6-8:30 p.m. reception and talk with the photographer, to be held at Sibley Auditorium in the Bechtel Engineering Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Light learned of the photos’ existence during a casual conversation about a year ago with his friend, Goldblatt. When Goldblatt mentioned he had the negatives of his shoot with the Beatles stashed away in a box, Light said he was stunned, but then had an idea.
He immediately began working with Goldblatt to present the photos to the public. Light took the negatives to Pictopia in Emeryville, Calif., to scan and enlarge them for the exhibit. The exhibit images and another 75 will be featured in a slideshow during Goldblatt’s Friday night talk.
“I’m always looking for interesting shows to bring to the journalism school,” Light said. “This is a wonderful match.”
All 100 Beatles photos are contained in a special, 110-page volume being published by the non-profit Fotovision, a Bay Area non-profit that supports documentary photography. The volume also has commentary by Goldblatt and a signed, limited edition archival print, and is selling for a $495 donation to Fotovision. Beyond 20 copies printed initially, more copies will be available in February.
The Mad Day Out exhibit runs through Jan. 18, 2011. Directions to North Gate Hall are available online .