Exhibition opening – EVER YOUNG: JAMES BARNOR

James Barnor - EVER YOUNG

The Iziko South African National Gallery, in association with Autograph ABP, presents the work of Ghanaian photographer James Barnor.


Iziko South African National Gallery

7 September 2011 – 29 January 2012

The Iziko South African National Gallery, in association with Autograph ABP, presents local audiences with the opportunity to view, for the first time, the work of Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, studio portraitist, photojournalist and photographer for Drum magazine.

James Barnor’s archive was produced during a career spanning more than sixty years. It covers a remarkable period in history, bridging continents and photographic genres and creating a transatlantic narrative marked by his passionate interest in people and cultures. Through the medium of portraiture, Barnor’s photographs represent societies in transition: Ghana moving towards its independence and London becoming a cosmopolitan, multicultural metropolis.

Roy Ankrah

Introducing a body of work from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, the exhibition showcases street and studio photographs with elaborate backdrops, fashion portraits in glorious colour, and social documentary features, many commissioned for Drum magazine.

In the early 1950s, Barnor’s photographic studio Ever Young was visited by civil servants and dignitaries, performance artists and newly-weds. During this period, Barnor captured intimate moments of such luminaries as Kwame Nkrumah as he pushed for pan-African unity, and commonwealth boxing champion Roy Ankrah, as well as ‘ordinary’ men and women. After moving to London in 1959 he photographed, among others, Mohammad Ali training for a fight at Earl’s Court, and a multinational cohort of fashionable Drum cover girls. The Drum franchise had not only spread throughout the African continent, the magazine and its readership were part of the rise of Black London.

Curated by Renée Mussai, the exhibition introduces a newly preserved body of work, resulting from archival research undertaken by Autograph ABP, London, and is linked to the establishment of Autograph ABP’s Archive and Research Centre for Culturally Diverse Photography, which opened to the public in 2011. The exhibition was first shown at Rivington Place, London, in 2010.

James Barnor Photography

Autograph ABP is a charity that works internationally to educate the public in photography, with a particular emphasis on issues of cultural identity and human rights.

The British Council South Africa has supported the touring of Ever Young: James Barnor to South Africa.

Enquiries: Pam Warne, 021 481 3956, pwarne@iziko.org.za



Iziko Museums (Iziko) operates 12 national museums in Cape Town. The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections which reflect our diverse African heritage. Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation which brings together these 12 museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, as well as unlimited free access to individuals aged 18 and under (excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium).

COMMEMORATIVE DAYS – FREE ENTRANCE (excluding Iziko Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope)

- Human Rights Day: 21 March

- Freedom Day: 27 April

- International Museum Day: 25 May

- Africa Day: 25 May

- Youth Day: 16 June

- National Women’s Day: 9 August

- Heritage Week: 19 – 25 September

- National Aids Awareness Day: 1 December

- Emancipation Day: 1 December

- Day of Reconciliation: 16 December

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