Never-Before-Seen Photos of The Beatles’ Historic 1964 Visits to America for Sale

Some 50 never-before-seen photographs of The Beatles during their first U.S. tour, taken by 18-year-old Mike Mitchell, will be sold at Christie’s New York on July 20, 2011.

NEW YORK – Fifty lots of unpublished and never-before-seen photographs of the Beatles’ first hysteria-inducing visits to America in 1964, shot in black and white, will be auctioned off in a sale hosted by Christie’s.

Taken by photographer Mike Mitchell when he was just 18 years old, the images have been filed away for nearly 50 years. The complete rediscovered collection is expected to realize in the region of $100,000 in the July 20 sale titled The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell.

On Feb. 11, 1964, just two days after their momentous American debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the Beatles performed their first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum. Mitchell, a DC native, shot dozens of intimate photographs capturing the excitement of the first British Invasion. Mitchell had exceptional access to the events, including their arrival at Union Station, the press conference preceding the performance and unrestricted, stage-front access for the entirety of the historic Coliseum concert. Mitchell then snapped additional photographs when they performed during their first U.S. concert tour at the Baltimore Civic Center on Sept. 13, 1964.

Christie’s is partnering with Mike Mitchell on the debut of these images, which will be on exhibit at Christie’s New York from July 11-20 before they are offered at auction in New York on July 20 at 7 p.m.

Paul and John during The Beatles' first U.S. tour, taken by Mike Mitchell.

George, the quiet one, at the Washington Coliseum.


Ringo on the skins, drumming in the first British Invasion.

The Beatles have had a monumental influence on music and pop culture, inspiring a global fan base and becoming the most popular band in music history. Today, the Beatles still captivate millions of fans around the world and inspire new generations of listeners with their music.

Further detail and estimates for individual images will be announced in the coming weeks.


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