James Barnor (Ghana, b. 1929). Studio Ever Young, Accra, c. 1950s. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière.

James Barnor: Accra/London

A Retrospective

May 28 – October 15, 2023

Free with general admission

General museum admission is FREE for residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

The DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts) proudly presents the exhibition, James Barnor: Accra/London—A Retrospective, a comprehensive survey of the work of Ghanaian photographer James Barnor whose career spans more than six decades. A studio portraitist, photojournalist, and Black lifestyle photographer, Barnor was born in 1929 in the West African nation of Ghana. He established his famous Ever Young Studio in Accra in the early 1950s and devoted his early photography to documenting critical social and political changes that animated the nation on the cusp of independence from Britain.

After moving to London in 1959 to further his studies, he began a hugely successful career with influential South African magazine Drum, which captured the spirit and experiences of London’s burgeoning African diaspora. Upon his return to Ghana in the 1970s, Barnor established the country’s first color processing photo lab. An avid music enthusiast, he embedded himself in the social and highlife scene while continuing his work as a portrait photographer. He returned to London in 1994.

A catalogue accompanying James Barnor’s major solo exhibition is available in the DIA Shop.

James Barnor (Ghana, b. 1929). Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967 (printed 2010–20). Gelatin silver print. Autograph, London.

James Barnor (Ghana, b. 1929). Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967 (printed 2010–20). Gelatin silver print. Autograph, London.

James Barnor: Accra/London—A Retrospective is initiated and organized by Serpentine, London.

At the Detroit Institute of Arts, the exhibition is generously funded by the Salle Owen Kaichen Trust and the Ford Motor Company Fund

Additional support is provided by DTE Foundation, the Bella and Don Barden Foundation, the Desk Drawer Fund, the Friends of Prints, Drawings & Photographs, and Friends of African & African American Art.