James Barnor (HonsFRPS) began by setting up a studio in Accra which was visited by the public as well as dignitaries. He also worked for the Daily Graphic, as their first photojournalist, and Drum magazine. After moving to the UK in 1959, he continued to work on commissions for Drum, in London, shooting models for its covers. Barnor’s portraits depict the self-assurance and individualistic fashion trends that dominated both London and Accra.
In October 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of Ghana, Barnor was awarded the Order of the Volta. In 2019 a retrospective of Barnor’s work opened at the new Nubuke Foundation, Accra. In 2020, he received an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society. This May, Serpentine, London will launch the largest survey of his work to date. His work is in collections such as the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Tate, and Government Art Collection, all London and Musée du quai Branly, Paris.