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Wedding Guests in London

Photograph
1960s (Photographed), 2011 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Born in 1929, Ghanaian photographer James Barnor documented the shift towards modern living as experienced by black people in both Africa and Britain. Barnor first moved to London in 1959, and his reportage of the capital during the 1960s records the emergence of a modern, multicultural city. The outfits worn by two wedding guests combine Western and traditional West African fashions into a global 1960s style. The leafy backdrop and telephone box locate this multicultural scene on British streets.

The V&A acquired five photographs by James Barnor as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief description
Photograph by James Barnor, 'Wedding Guests in London', gelatin silver print, London, 1960s, printed 2011, ed. 2/10
Physical description
Black and white photograph depicting two women standing on a path in a park in front of a traditional red British telephone box wearing smart clothing. The woman on the left wears patterned heels which match her bag and a white dress with embroidered flowers around the shoulders and a full, fifties skirt. She has a large white flower in her hair and looks straight at the camera, smiling. The woman on the right of the image wears a longer, patterned dress with wide 3/4 sleeves and has a large bouffant hairstyle, she looks out of frame to the right of the image. Both women are stood with one foot slightly in front of the other, tilted showing off the shoes.
Dimensions
  • Image size height: 280mm
  • Image size width: 278mm
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and inscriptions
Signed 'James Barnor 1960s/2011' at bottom right of the image and 'ED 2/10' on verso, lower right.
Gallery label
Text label for the exhibition, 'Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s 16 February – 24 May 2015 James Barnor (born 1929) Everything in My Hand I Bring, 1953 Selina Opong, Policewoman #10, 1954 Wedding Guests in London, 1960 – 69 Eva, London, 1960 Barnor set up a photography studio in Accra in Ghana in 1947. Although intended as personal mementos for the sitters, his studio photographs also record changes in Ghanaian society in the 1950s and ’60s. Policewoman Selina Opong, who poses in one of the photographs, was one of the first female police officers to graduate from the newly established police academy in Accra. Barnor later moved to London, where his reportage work for magazines showed the emergence of a modern, multicultural city. Gelatin silver prints (printed 2011) Museum nos. E.102, 104 to 106-2012(16/02/2015-24/05/2015)
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Object history
The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Subjects depicted
Place depicted
Summary
Born in 1929, Ghanaian photographer James Barnor documented the shift towards modern living as experienced by black people in both Africa and Britain. Barnor first moved to London in 1959, and his reportage of the capital during the 1960s records the emergence of a modern, multicultural city. The outfits worn by two wedding guests combine Western and traditional West African fashions into a global 1960s style. The leafy backdrop and telephone box locate this multicultural scene on British streets.



The V&A acquired five photographs by James Barnor as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Associated objects
Other number
2/10 - Limited Edition Number
Collection
Accession number
E.102-2012

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Record createdJanuary 31, 2012
Record URL
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