Art

Serpentine Gallery: Portraits for the Future: A Celebration of James Barnor

The Serpentine presents a major survey of British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, whose career spans six decades, two continents and numerous photographic genres through his work with studio portraiture, photojournalism, editorial commissions and wider social commentary.

A major survey of British-Ghanaian photographer James Barnor, whose career as a studio portraitist, photojournalist and Black lifestyle photographer spans six decades and records major social and political changes in London and Accra.

Born in 1929 in Ghana, James Barnor established his famous Ever Young studio in Accra in the early 1950s, capturing a nation on the cusp of independence in an ambiance animated by conversation and highlife music. In 1959 he arrived in London, furthering his studies and continuing assignments for influential South African magazine Drum which reflected the spirit of the era and the experiences of London’s burgeoning African diaspora. He returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to establish the country’s first colour processing lab while continuing his work as a portrait photographer and embedding himself in the music scene. He returned to London in 1994.

James Barnor, Drum Cover Girl, Erlin Ibreck, London, 1966, Courtesy Autograph @autographabp

VISITING SAFELY

  • Always book a FREE timed slot in advance
  • Please arrive on time with your mobile ticket. We are unable accommodate visitors who arrive more than 15 minutes late
  • Only visit with people from your household or support bubble (maximum group size four)
  • Please follow all the safety instructions onsite
  • Observe physical distancing, follow the one-way route and act on any guidance our staff give you
  • Wear a face covering, unless you are exempt
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided and wash your hands regularly
  • If you are not feeling well, help keep everyone safe by staying at home
  • Please download the exhibition digital guide on the Serpentine/Bloomberg Connects app ahead of your visit, and bring your own headphones and smartphone
  • Visit our facilities page for up to date access information here
  • Importantly, if you are ill or fall into one of the vulnerable groups, then you must postpone your visit
  • For more information on advanced free ticketing please contact ticketing@serpentinegalleries.org

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • Carefully managed visitor numbers
  • No access to public toilets at the galleries. There are toilets available in the park opposite the Serpentine South Gallery. Please speak to our team for directions
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers provided in the gallery
  • No cloakroom. Avoid bringing bulky coats or large holdalls or wheelie bags. Only one, reasonably-sized, personal bag per visitor will be permitt
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