Illuminated in Washington

On July 20, Christie’s is pleased to present The Beatles Illuminated: The Discovered Works of Mike Mitchell, a sale comprised of 50 lots of unpublished and never-before-seen photographs of the Beatles’ first hysteria-inducing visits to America in 1964. Shot in black and white by photographer Mike Mitchell when he was just 18 years old, the images have been filed away for nearly fifty years.

The complete rediscovered collection is expected to realize in the region of $100,000.

On February 11, 1964, just two days after their momentous American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Beatles performed their first US concert at the Washington Coliseum. The DC native shot dozens of intimate and thrilling photographs capturing the excitement of this 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 US concert tour at the Baltimore Civic Center on September 13, 1964. Christie’s is thrilled to partner with Mike Mitchell on the debut of these images, which will be on exhibit first in London at Christie’s South Kensington from June 11-12 and then at the Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, on June 17-25 and then at Christie’s New York from July 11-20 before they are offered at auction in New York on July 20 at 7pm.

Photos by Mike Mitchell, courtesy of Christie’s © Christie’s Images Limited 2010

Ecatalogue: Available online from June 2011 at

3 Responses

  1. Lance T. Osborne says:

    That group shot is just begging to be turned into a poster. Thanks for sharing!

  2. wogew says:

    It was a book cover recently

  3. Digital Silver Imaging says:

    This is an amazing collection! We were honored to work with Michael on the printing and to see all these images up close and personal. His access and his skills produced some fantastic images.

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