About Stuart






Current Happenings:


Text Box: BACKBEAT, The world premiere of an exciting new stage version of one of the UK?s best loved British cult-films - based on the Universal Pictures film by Iain Softley - is set to hit the stage at the Citizens Theatre ? Glasgow,  World premieres 12 February 2010  Executive Producer, Karl Sydow  Writer, Iain Softley with Stephen Jeffreys  Director, Iain Softley  Stage & Costume Designer, Christopher Oram


























2008-2009       Stuart Sutcliffe Retrospective, Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of

                           Liverpool, Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, UK

                           Co-Curators and catalogue editors: Matthew Clough and Colin Fallows


2008-2009       Tour of the Hamptons II, Brown Harris Stevens, Southampton New York, Amagansett NY, Sag

                                    Harbor NY                                      

                           Curators: Diane Vitale and Pauline Sutcliffe


2007                 One Man Show within multiple exhibition event, ‘The 1960s: A Cultural Revolution...Artist

                          to Icon. The Stuart Sutcliffe Paintings’, the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art, Midland

                          Centre for the Arts, USA

                              Curators: Bruce Winslow et al


2007                  Launch of the Stuart Sutcliffe Lecture Series - Alden B. Dow Museum

                                    of Science & Art.

                           Authors and Presenters: Pauline Sutcliffe and Diane Vitale


2007                  Tour of the Hamptons I, Brown Harris Stevens, East Hampton, New York & Bridge Hampton,

                           New York, USA

                           Curators: Diane Vitale and Pauline Sutcliffe


2006-2008        Celebrity Art / Neal Glaser, in partnership with Rock Art Show

                                     Release of Sutcliffe Limited Edition print ‘Meet the Beatals’ www.artcelebs.com


2006-2008         Rock Art Show, Scott Segelbaum, USA Tour in 32 states including

                            Martha Clara Vineyards, Bob Kern, Riverhead, New York

                                     Includes the limited edition print ‘Meet the Beatals’ within this large group show www.rockartshow.com


2005                   Prescott Museum, Multi Media 60’s Celebration, Greater Merseyside, UK


2004                   One man show, Supervisions, St. Helens, Lancashire, UK


2002                   One man show, Proud Gallery, London, UK


2001                   One man show, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, USA

                            Curators: Terry Stewart, Jim Henky et al


2001                   One man show, Westwood Gallery, Manhattan, New York, USA

                            Curators: James Cavello and Margarite Almeida


2000                   One man show, Beatles Museum, Liverpool, UK

                                      Curators: Shelagh Johnson & Terry Sampson with LJMU Art History Studies


1995-2000         One man shows, Govinda Gallery, Washington DC, USA

                            Curator: Chris Murray


1996 -1999        One man and mixed shows, KDK Gallery, London, UK

                            Curators: Pauline Sutcliffe and Kate Kilroy


1995                   One man show, Kamen Gallery, Toronto, Canada


1995                   One-man show, Liverpool John Moores University, School of Design &

                                      Visual Art, Stuart Sutcliffe Fellowship Award - launch

                            Curator: Colin Fallows


1994                   One man show, Touring Exhibition, Japan (Dela Corporation Tokyo)

                            Backbeat film distributor - touring major cities throughout Japan


1994                   One man show, Liverpool John Moores University, School of Design

                                      & Visual Arts and launch of the Stuart Sutcliffe Scholarship

                            Curator: Colin Fallows


1994                   One man show, Beatlerama Inc., Toronto, Canada


1994                   Stuart Sutcliffe / Astrid Kirchherr Exhibition, Special Photographers

                                     Gallery London, UK


1992                   25th Anniversary Christmas Exhibition, Bluecoat Gallery Liverpool, UK

                            Curator: Bryan Biggs


1990-1991       One man show, BBK Gallery, Cologne, Germany

                           Curators: Bryan Biggs, Mike Evans, Pauline Sutcliffe and BBK


1990                   One man show, Sotheby's, London, UK

                            Co-curators: Pauline Sutcliffe and Mike Evans


1990                   One-man show, Barbizon Gallery, Glasgow, UK (co-sponsored by

                                     Mayfest). Co-curators: Pauline Sutcliffe and Mike Evans


1990                   One man show, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK

                            Curator: Bryan Biggs


1987-1988       The Art of the Beatles, Tour of Japan (Seibu Stores/Toshiba)

                            Curator and catalogue author: Mike Evans


1988                  The Art of the Beatles, Cologne, Germany (British Council)

                            Curator and catalogue author: Mike Evans


1984                  The Art of the Beatles, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Merseyside County Council),

                           UK. Curator and catalogue author: Mike Evans


1976                   One man show, South London Art Gallery, London, UK


1972                   One man show, The Room, Greenwich, London, UK


1967                   One man show, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK            


1967                   Art in a City Exhibition, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK

                                     John Willett Art in a City book launch       


1966                   One man show, Neptune Gallery, Liverpool, UK


1965                   One man show, University of Liverpool Student Union, UK


1964                   Major retrospective, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

                            Curators: Nicholas Horsfield, John Jacob, Hugh Scrutton, John Willett


1959                  John Moores Liverpool Exhibition, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK

                                    (John Moores purchased the Sutcliffe painting enabling Sutcliffe to

                                     purchase the bass guitar)





2005                   BBC Television commissioned documentary, Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost

                                     Beatle, Director Steve Cole, Iambic Productions


1991                   Exhibition, Cologne, German TV


1990                   Midnight Angel, Granada TV (networked) UK





2006                   Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle, Director: Steve Cole, Iambic

                                      Productions. Digital Classics International DVD release of BBC

                                     commissioned documentary.

                            Winner of the Creative Excellence Award, US International Film and

                                      Video Festival.


2005                   Backbeat, Director Iain Softley, Producers Finola Dwyer and Stephen

                                      Wooley re-released on DVD, Universal Classics




1994                   Backbeat, Director Iain Softley, Producers Finola Dwyer and Stephen

                                     Wooley. Polygram / Scala / Channel 4





2007                   Stuart Sutcliffe Lecture Series © Stuart Sutcliffe Estate

                                     Authors and Presenters: Pauline Sutcliffe and Diane Vitale

                                     Multi-media presentation series chronicling the art and artefacts of

                                     Stuart Sutcliffe





1999                   Mansun


1995                   EP's (Aaron Ave Records)


1994                   Backbeat Soundtrack (Virgin Records)





1995                   The Beatles Anthology





2010                   BACKBEAT, an exciting new stage version based on the Universal

                                     Pictures film by Iain Softley - world premiers at the Citizens Theatre –

                                     Glasgow, 9 February 2010 to 6 March 2010

                            Executive Producer, Karl Sydow 

                            Writer Iain Softley with Stephen Jeffreys

                            Director, Iain Softley

                            Stage & Costume Designer, Christopher Oram 


2005                   Lennon, the Musical, Broadway, New York





2009                   Stuart Sutcliffe, A Retrospective, Victoria Gallery & Museum, University

                                      of Liverpool, Liverpool University Press


  • The Beatles Shadow, Stuart Sutcliffe, & His Lonely Hearts Club,

                                        Pauline Sutcliffe and Douglas Thompson, Sidgwick & Jackson, an imprint of Pan Macmillan                                     Ltd.


1995                   STUART, The Life and Art of Stuart Sutcliffe, Pauline Sutcliffe and Kay

                            Williams Genesis Publications, Limited Edition


  • Backbeat, Stuart Sutcliffe, The Lost Beatle, Alan Clayson and Pauline

                            Sutcliffe, Pan Books / Sidgwick & Jackson





2009                   FACTOTUM, Japanese menswear design house produces “Stuart

                                     themed” line "Story" inspired by the life of Stuart Sutcliffe – the British

                            artist and original Beatles bassist.




Born 23 June 1940 Edinburgh, Scotland

Died 10 April 1962 Hamburg, Germany




1943                   Family moves to Liverpool, England

1946-1950         Park View Primary School, Huyton

1950-1956         Prescott Grammar School

1956                   Enters Liverpool Regional College of Art (16 years of age)

1957                   Meets fellow art students, John Lennon, Rod Murray and Bill Harry

1958                   Passes Intermediate Art and Crafts Certificate examinations

1959                   Painting selected for John Moores Exhibition at the prestigious Walker

                                     Art Gallery in Liverpool - painting subsequently bought by John Moores

                            John Lennon persuades Stuart to invest proceeds from the sale to

                            purchase a bass guitar and join his rock-n-roll group, then known as

                            the Quarry Men, as bass guitarist

1960                   Tours Scotland with the group

                            Stuart and John rename the group the Silver Beatles, as accompanists

                            to Johnny Gentle. Stuart later changes the name to the Beatals and

                           John later changes the spelling

1960                  Passes NDD (National Diploma in Design) and graduates from Liverpool College of Art

1960                  Travels with the Beatles to Hamburg where they work from August to late November, during which                  time he becomes engaged to photographer Astrid Kirchherr

1961                  During the Beatles second visit to Hamburg, he enrolls at the cities Staetiche Hoehschule

                           fur bildende Kunste (State School of Art) and leaves the Beatles

1961-1962        Studies in Eduardo Paolozzi's Master Class

1962                  Dies in Hamburg on 10 April 1962 at 21 years of age.





"I looked up to Stu, I depended on him to tell me the truth. Stu would tell me if something was good, and I'd believe him."

              John Lennon


"I felt I knew Stuart because hardly a day went by that John did not speak about him."

              Yoko Ono


“Stuart was the most beautiful, sensitive and gifted boy. I still put a flower beside his photograph at my bedside on his birthday.”                   

              Astrid Kirchherr


“Stuart was not the best bass player, but he wasn’t anything like as bad as has been said captured in Beatle mythology.”

              Pete Best


“Stu was actually a very good rock-and-roll bass player. At the time, he was better than Paul.”

              Klaus Voormann


"Stu was more than just the bass player - he was like our art director."

              George Harrison


"He (Stuart) was a major attraction because of the James Dean thing, the dark, moody thing. I think a lot of people liked that."

              Sir Paul McCartney


"My report is that Sutcliffe is very gifted and very intelligent. In the meantime he has become one of my best students."

              Professor Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Artist


"He (Stuart) was an outstanding loss to Liverpool and to English painting, and over and above the merit of his pictures he has a special significance as somebody whose burning creativity switched from art into pop music and then back again. He showed the way."

              John Willett, Art Critic & Historian


“Stuart Sutcliffe emerged as an Abstract Expressionist painter just when Abstract Expressionism was in decline, epitomizing all that is best in it.  It was this intensity that Sutcliffe captured in his own relentlessly intense art.  They throb with new life and fresh emotion.”

              Donald Kuspit, Prof. of Art History & Philosophy, Author, Art Critic & Historian


“Most mothers believe their children are the most brilliant and the most beautiful – but it happened to be true about Stuart. When he told us he had joined a band, my heart filled with feelings of awful foreboding… His death left a void in our family that nothing, but nothing, could fill. Our family was never the same.”

Martha Sutcliffe, Stuart’s mother


“It was difficult for me to try and persuade him not to join the group because I had been a little foolhardy myself in my youth – but I was concerned that it might take him off focus and seriously impact his true passion – which was his art.”

Charles Sutcliffe, Stuart’s father


“He didn’t like it when my sister and I would tease him about liking Elvis – we thought it was so out of character for such a serious painter. He used to reply by saying, ‘one day, you’ll understand.’”                

Joyce Whitelock Wainwright (nee Sutcliffe), Stuart’s sister


“My sister Joyce and I were never in any doubt that we had the most spectacularly wonderful brother that ever set foot on the planet. When his back was turned we would make forays into his room and passed the notice on his door that said, ‘Private. Keep Out’. We would look in wonderment at the amazing range of stuff that included: a record player and records; balsa wood packages for making aeroplanes; Dubbing for his uniform belt as a cadet at ATC; his bugle hanging from the ceiling like a mobile; the unfinished Crucifixion being painted as a gift for his Vicar, Rev. Ward at St. Gabriel’s; the nursery rhymes in preparation for our mothers classroom; many books open at different chapters all being read and a couple of unfinished essay’s on the ‘meaning of life’…  We looked in wonderment at the creative use of his dressing table, which doubled as art easel and storage for poster paints, charcoal, linseed oil and all the usual paraphernalia associated with a painter in the 50’s.

I was 12-years of age and my sister Joyce was 14 when Stuart became a student at the Liverpool College of Art (he was just 16) - so its not surprising his private room reflected a middle adolescent boy as well as a precociously talented you man. Had Stuart caught us in our foray into his private sanctuary (which he did once) he would leave us in no doubt that we had breached his privacy and that he was concerned lest we should disturb anything that looked chaotic to us - but had total logic to him. It was about this time that he introduced Rod Murray to our family – he was Stuart’s first best friend, before John.  At this time he persuaded our mother that he needed to have his own space and she willingly acquiesced - my sister and I lost our secret treasure troving but not yet our brother – that happened some years later.

It has been a joy to work on this wonderful website project. We hope you truly appreciate all the hard work as well as the pleasure it has been to share and preserve Stuart’s legacy.”

Pauline Sutcliffe, Stuart’s sister


“Stuart was clearly a budding ‘Renaissance Man’ – showing precocious ability and talent in all the arts. The range of his talents - writer, poet, art historian, art critic, filmmaker, overwhelmed me… It intrigued me that such a refined intellect enjoyed other visual aesthetics like style and fashion, and at such a young age, recognized the importance of popular music in our culture. Stuart saw John as a fellow traveller, also a young man of artistic passion – seeing behind the façade of the tough Teddy Boy. It’s no wonder John looked up to him and why Stuart enjoyed being with him so much. For me to have an entree into Stuart’s world – through his art, artefacts and memorabilia - to have the opportunity to read a novel he was writing about his relationship with John, was a real privilege. Having steered the design and launch of the stuartsutcliffeart.com website, I never fail to be surprised at the amount of traffic and requests we receive daily.

Pauline has taken great care to preserve Stuart’s life work - to bring it to public attention both nationally and internationally and ensure it has been exhibited worldwide before making it available to private collectors and museums.  I’m delighted that I have the honour to develop future tasteful business opportunities whilst maintaining the integrity of the artists life and work.”

Diane Vitale, Director, Stuart Sutcliffe Estate



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