The photograph was shown as part of the exhibition 'James Barnor: A Retrospective' held at the Nubuke Foundation in 2019. Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Wesley Methodist Church, this portrait was made at the Studio X23, Accra.
Born in Accra in 1929, James Barnor is a pioneer of Ghanaian photography. Barnor’s career covers a remarkable period in history, bridging continents, and photographic genres to create a transatlantic narrative marked by his passionate interest in people and cultures. His photographs represent societies in transition: Ghana moving towards its independence and London becoming a cosmopolitan, multicultural metropolis.
Barnor’s life has been punctuated by many firsts, making him an incredible record of historic and iconic moments. He founded his first photographic studio, Ever Young, in 1953 and went on to capture luminaries including Ghana’s first prime minister, Kwame Nkrumah. Additionally, Barnor was engaged as the first photojournalist to work with the Daily Graphic and he was also regularly commissioned by Drum magazine – South Africa’s influential anti- apartheid journal for lifestyle and politics – for whom he photographed several news features, including Gold Coast’s champion boxer Roy Ankrah, aka The Black Flash. In 1969, Barnor opened the first colour processing laboratory and studio X23 in Accra.