Mary McCartney

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Mary McCartney
Born Mary Anna McCartney
(1969-08-28) 28 August 1969 (age 48)
London, England
Occupation Photographer, activist
Spouse(s) Alistair Donald
(m. 1998; div. 2007)

Simon Aboud
(m. 2010)
Children 4
Parent(s) Paul McCartney
Linda McCartney

Mary Anna McCartney (born 28 August 1969, previously McCartney-Donald) is an English fine art photographer. McCartney is the eldest biological child of musician and songwriter Paul McCartney and photographer Linda McCartney.

Early life[edit]

McCartney was born in London on 28 August 1969 and named after her paternal grandmother, Mary McCartney. She is the first biological child of Paul McCartney of the Beatles and photographer Linda Eastman McCartney, and Linda's second child. McCartney has an older half-sister, Heather McCartney who was born Heather Louise See on 31 December 1962 to Linda and Joseph Melville See Jr. and adopted by Paul McCartney; a younger sister, Stella Nina McCartney who was born on 13 September 1971; and a younger brother, James Louis McCartney, who was born on 12 September 1977. McCartney's mother Linda died from breast cancer in 1998. McCartney has a much younger half-sister, Beatrice Milly McCartney, born to her father and his second wife, Heather Mills, on 28 October 2003.

One of the most famous photograph of McCartney was taken by her mother; it is a photograph of her as a baby, peeking out from inside her father's jacket. The photograph is featured on the back cover of her father's first solo album, McCartney, (sometimes known as the "Cherries" album).

After the birth of her sister, Stella, McCartney's parents formed the rock group Wings, with whom she and her siblings travelled the world until 1980. She grew up to be a vegetarian and is passionate about animal rights like the rest of her family.[1][2]

Professional life[edit]

Taking inspiration from her mother, McCartney became a professional photographer. She was a photo editor for the music-book publisher Omnibus Press[3] and in 1992 began taking photographs professionally, her photographic work has focused on discovering those rare moments of unguarded, emotionally charged intimacy that offers us a new insight to the subject. McCartney’s work has concentrated on the world of portrait and candid photography and is suffused with a deep personal investment that captures the creative chemistry between Mary and her subjects.

McCartney’s responses to her wide variety of subjects are as spontaneous as they are studied, as shown by her first solo exhibition Off Pointe – A Photographic Study of The Royal Ballet After Hours in October 2004. A series of powerful images that reveals the chaos of life behind the scenes of the elite Royal Ballet and the contrast between the sometimes grueling, painful lifestyle of the dancers and their fairy tale performances.

In Playing Dress Up (Goss Michael Foundation, Dallas 2007), McCartney chronicled the rarefied and at times, both monotonous and madcap, world of high fashion, both on the catwalk and backstage with an unreserved collection of images.

McCartney’s talent for encapsulating the inspirations, histories and personalities of her subjects, such as Tracey Emin dressed as Frida Kahlo, is most evident in her previous exhibition Developing (The Lowry, Manchester, 2013). Showcasing her distinctive style in portraying visually vulnerable, off-guard portraits that seem unlikely without McCartney’s affinity with her subject.

McCartney also has a number of photographs in several group commissions that were exhibited internationally including the National Portrait Gallery, London (Gay Icons, 2009) and The Waterfront, New York City (Strength and Beauty Embodied by Avant-Garde Women, 2007).

In 2013, Zeiss - the legendary lens manufacturer, commissioned McCartney to shoot their prestigious annual Zeiss Art Calendar. Entitled ‘Moments in the City’ and featuring Gemma Arterton and Alec Baldwin, the images were shot using black-and-white film in New York City and exude McCartney’s characteristic enigmatic and filmic quality.

November 2014 saw the opening of McCartney’s Monochrome & Colour exhibition in London, which demonstrated, for the first time, a more personal anthology. Taken without the agenda of a creative brief, the photographs illustrate the instinctive nature of McCartney’s photography and a desire to record the life around her. A book of two parts, published by GOST, accompanies the exhibition.

November 2015 Mother Daughter opens at the Gagosian Gallery New York. The photographs of the late Linda McCartney and her daughter Mary exhibited together for the first time, explore the connective tissue of family, common experience, and a love of the photographic medium. Their images are highly instinctual, rather than analytical; as well they reveal a great ability to capture fleeting moments of intimacy. The exhibition is a treasury of moments derived from relaxed interactions with family, a dazzling array of celebrities—Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Kate Moss, Rihanna—and everyday life.

McCartney also has a number of ongoing projects, one namely entitled #Someone, which has seen her utilizing the digital medium of Instagram to capture spontaneous and personal portraits of people that catch her eye, in McCartney’s distinctive and unguarded style.

Mary's most recently published work is a behind the scenes study of Mark Rylance as Olivia in the play Twelfth Night and his ensemble cast pre, during and post performance - The books title: 'Twelfth Night 15.12.13’ as quoted by Mark “The study is a rare peep backstage that Mary has captured so spontaneously”.

2018 will see Mary’s newest project Alejandro an intimate portrait of rider and horse published with Rizzoli USA.

McCartney has written two vegetarian cookbooks, Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking (2012) and At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends (2015).[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

On 3 April 1999, McCartney gave birth to her first child, Arthur Alistair Donald, now the eldest of eight grandchildren. Her second son, Elliot Donald, was born on 2 August 2002 to her first husband Alistair Donald.

In April 2005, the couple announced their separation, but stated that it was only temporary and they wished to reconcile for the sake of their two sons. Although there was no public confirmation of a divorce, by 2007 she had returned to using her birth name professionally.

On 11 August 2008, McCartney gave birth to her third son, her first child with director Husband Simon Aboud. On 12 June 2010, McCartney and Aboud were married in a private ceremony in London at the Marylebone Register Office, the same location where her parents were married in 1969.[6] On 3 September 2011, McCartney gave birth to her fourth son.[7]




  1. ^ Peta's Animal Times. Autumn 2007. Page 3
  2. ^ IMDB bio
  3. ^ Miles, Barry; Andy Mabbett (1994). Pink Floyd the visual documentary ([Updated ed.] ed.). London :: Omnibus,. pp. [174] p. : ill. (some col.), facsims, ports (some col.) ; 29 cm. ISBN 0-7119-4109-2. 
  4. ^ Mary McCartney (2012). Food. Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-8625-8. 
  5. ^ Mary McCartney (14 May 2015). At My Table: Vegetarian Feasts for Family and Friends. Random House. ISBN 978-1-4735-1232-0. 
  6. ^ "Paul McCartney's daughter Mary marries in secret". Hello. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2017-08-07. 
  7. ^ "Paul McCartney ist zum achten Mal Opa geworden". London: 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2012-08-14.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

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