24 Rare Portraits of Yoko Ono in the Early 1960s, Before She Married John Lennon

Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist who became known worldwide in the 1960s when she married Beatles front man John Lennon.

Ono first met John Lennon of the Beatles on November 9, 1966, when he visited a preview of her exhibition at the Indica Gallery in London, England. Lennon was taken with the positive, interactive nature of her work. He specifically cited a ladder leading up to a black canvas with a spyglass on a chain, which revealed the word “yes” written on the ceiling. The two began an affair approximately 18 months later. Lennon divorced his first wife, Cynthia (with whom he had a son, Julian, born in 1963), and married Ono on March 20, 1969.

The couple collaborated on art, film and musical projects, and became famous for their series of “conceptual events” to promote world peace, including the “bed-in” held in an Amsterdam hotel room during their honeymoon in 1969. After her marriage to Lennon, Ono struggled with her ex-husband over custody of Kyoko. She recorded the song “Don’t Worry Kyoko” as an effort to reach out to her child. In 1971, her ex-husband disappeared with Kyoko, and Ono did not learn for years what had happened to her daughter. Apparently, Kyoko spent more than a decade living with a religious cult called the Walk with her father.

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