Astrid Kirchherr

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Astrid Kirchherr (born 20 May 1938) is a German photographer and artist and is well known for her association with The Beatles (along with her friends Klaus Voormann and Jürgen Vollmer) and her photographs of The Beatles during their Hamburg days.

Kirchherr met artist Stuart Sutcliffe in the Kaiserkeller bar in Hamburg in 1960, where he was playing bass with The Beatles, and was later engaged to him before his death in 1962.

Although Kirchherr has taken very few photographs since 1967, her early work has been exhibited in Hamburg, Bremen, London, Liverpool, New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo, Vienna, and at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Kirchherr has published three limited edition books of photographs.


Early life

Astrid Kirchherr was born in 1938 in Hamburg, Germany, and is the daughter of a former executive of the German branch of the Ford Motor Company. During World War II she was evacuated to the safety of the Baltic Sea where she remembered seeing dead bodies on the shore (after the ships Cap Arcona and the SS Deutschland had been bombed and sunk) and the destruction in Hamburg when she returned.[1]

After her graduation Kirchherr enrolled in the Meisterschule für Mode, Textil, Graphik und Werbung in Hamburg, as she wanted to study fashion design but demonstrated a talent for black and white photography.[2][3] Reinhard Wolf, the school's main photographic tutor, convinced her to switch courses and promised that he would hire her as his assistant when she graduated.[4] Kirchherr worked for Wolf as his assistant from 1959 until 1963.[5]

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