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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 09:42 GMT
Fifth Beatle's artwork on show
Beatles
Sutcliffe (middle) was a founder member of the Beatles
The complete estate of "fifth Beatle" Stuart Sutcliffe, including art, photos and letters, has gone on show ahead of its sale in London.

The artist's sister, Pauline Sutcliffe, has gathered together the collection to be sold at auction in December.

Ms Sutcliffe said at a press conference to launch the exhibition on Tuesday: "To understand Stuart's influence on The Beatles you have to look at what it was about The Beatles that was so different.

Stuart was unmistakably a force to be reckoned with as an artist, even at such a young age

Mick Fleetwood
"It was something to do with Stuart and John's interest in mould-breaking within the arts.

"Stuart in particular wanted somehow to elevate rock and roll into some sort of art form which appealed massively to John who was the predominant rock and roller but also the art student."

Sutcliffe was a founding member of the Beatles after meeting John Lennon at Liverpool College of Art.

Lennon invited him to join The Quarrymen, who later became the Beatles, alongside Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Harrison called him the band's "art director".

Backbeat
The film Backbeat told the story of Sutcliffe's short life
In 1961 he made the decision to quit the band to pursue his art but died in 1962 of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 21.

Miss Sutcliffe has co-written a book about his life, entitled The Beatles' Shadow. It launched with the collection at the Proud Galleries in London.

The Stuart Sutcliffe Collection goes up for auction by sealed bid between 16 October and 5 December, with 100,000 of the proceeds being donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Since his death Sutcliffe's work has become increasingly collectible and pieces have cropped up for sale over the years.

The collection comprises artworks, sketches and drawings as well as photographs taken of him and other Beatles by his girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr.

'Force'

His first guitar and drawings of how he envisioned the Beatles should look are also included.

The collection is being auctioned off by auction hosue Fleetwood Owen, co-founded by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac.

"It offers an insight in the very beginnings of one of the biggest and most revered bands in the world and into the man helped who helped shape them," said Fleetwood.

"And Stuart was unmistakably a force to be reckoned with as an artist, even at such a young age."

The 1993 film Backbeat, starring Stephen Dorff, told the story of Sutcliffe's life.

See also:

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