<strong>James Barnor</strong>, <em>AGIP Calendar Model</em> (detail), 1974. Lambda print, 48 x 48 cm.<strong>James Barnor</strong>, <em>AGIP Calendar Model</em> (detail), 1974. Digital Fibre Print, 70 x 70 cm.<strong>James Barnor</strong>, <em>Sunday, Outside Studio EX 23</em> (detail), 1975. Lambda print, 70 x 70 cm.


James Barnor.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2016.
James Barnor, Two Sisters in-law, Florence and Gifty, 1973/74. Lambda print, 70 x 70 cm.
Edition of 10 plus 1 artist's proof.

James Barnor (HonsFRPS) began by setting up a studio in Accra which was visited by the general public as well as dignitaries. Working for the Daily Graphic, as their first photojournalist, and Drum magazine, the influential anti-apartheid journal for lifestyle and politics, his career developed rapidly. After moving to the UK in 1959, he studied photography at Medway College of Art in Kent and continued to work on commissions for Drum, in London, shooting multinational models for its covers.

Barnor’s portraits depict the self-assurance and individualistic fashion trends that dominated both in London and Accra. Barnor introduced colour photography processing facilities to Ghana in 1969, as a representative for Agfa-Gevaert. His work has been exhibited internationally; between 2010 and 2016 his monumental touring exhibition Ever Young with Autograph ABP, featuring new prints made from original, digitally preserved negatives, as well as vintage photographs from the late 1940s to early 1970s, toured the UK and USA. October Gallery first showed his work in an exhibition with fellow photographer Daniele Tamagni in 2016. In October 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of Ghana, Barnor was awarded the Order of the Volta, conferred by President John Dramani Mahama at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony held at Accra International Conference Centre. In 2019 a retrospective of Barnor’s work opened at the new Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana. In 2020 he received an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society. In 2021 The Serpentine Gallery, London will launch a major survey of his work. His work is in collections such as MOMA, New York, USA; Victoria and Albert Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate, and Government Art Collection, London, UK and Musée du quoi Branly, Paris, France.

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View below for career highlights and works for sale by the artist.







Born in 1929, Accra, Ghana. Lives and works in London, UK.
Selected solo exhibitions
2021   James Barnor:Accra/London – A Retrospective, The Serpentine, London, UK
James Barnor, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol, UK
2019   James Barnor: A Retrospective, Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana
2018   La vie selon James Barnor, Gallery 1957 Kempinski Hotel, Accra, Ghana
2017   It’s great to be young, James Barnor et Marc Riboud, Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière, Paris, France
Ever Young, Musée du quai Branly, vitrine jardin, Paris, France
La vie selon James Barnor, 11e biennale des Rencontres de Bamako, Bamako, Mali 
2016   James Barnor: Ever Young, Rebuild Foundation in partnership with Autograph ABP
2015   James Barnor: Ever Young, Autograph ABP, Paris, France
2013    James Barnor: Ever Young, Impressions Gallery, Bradford, UK
2011    James Barnor: Every Young, Rudenstein Gallery, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
James Barnor: Ever Young, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
2010   James Barnor, Parc Des Ateliers, Arles, France
Ever Young: James Barnor, Autograph ABP, Rivington Place, London, UK
2009   James Barnor: Ever Young, Autograph ABP, London, UK  
2007   Mr Barnor’s Independence Diaries, Black Cultural Archives, London, UK
Selected group exhibitions
2021   1-54 New York, online with October Gallery, London, UK
2020   Atmospheres; Artists of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde October Gallery, London, UK,
Paris Photo with Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière, Paris, France
2018   This Synthetic Moment, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA
2017   Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa
1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair
, Somerset House, London, UK
National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2016   1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Somerset House, London, UK 
Daniele Tamagni and James Barnor, October Gallery, London, UK
Musée du quoi Branly, Paris, France
2015   Work, Rest and Play: British Photography from the 1960s to Today, The Photographers’ Gallery in partnership with OCT Loft, Shenzen and Misheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Swinging Sixties London – Photography in the Capital of Cool, Foam Fotografie museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s – 1990s, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
2014   Look At Me!, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2012   Ghana – A Heritage Ever Young, British Council and Silverbird Lounge, Accra Mall, Accra, Ghana
Synchronicity II, Tiwani Contemporary in partnership with Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection, Nasher Museum, Duke University, North Carolina, USA
Another London: International Photographers Capture London Life 1930 – 1980, Tate Britain, London, UK
2011   Synchronicity I, Baudoin Lebon, Paris, France
2004    Acton Arts Forum, Acton Arts Festival, London, UK
Awards and Prizes
2020    Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society. UK
2016    Order of the Volta (Ghana)
2011   GUBA (Ghana – UK Based Achievement) special “Lifetime Achievement” award