Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case SP, Shelf 3

Mike Eghan, Piccadilly Circus

Photograph
1967 (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’s photograph of the BBC’s first black broadcaster, Mike Eghan, on the steps of the landmark Piccadilly Circus fountain cements the emergence of a black cultural presence in Britain. This confident arrival is combined with a backdrop of neon advertising, which had made a lasting impression on Barnor since he first moved to London in 1959.

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.
read Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience Working in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, we identified and acquired photographs taken by black photographers, or which document the lives of black people in Britain, taken between the 1950s – 90s.
Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief description
Photograph by James Barnor, 'Mike Eghan, Piccadilly Circus', gelatin silver print, London, 1967, printed 2011, ed. 2/10
Physical description
Black and white photograph of a black man wearing a fur coat on the steps of the Eros statue at Piccadilly Circus in London. The man has his arms outstretched, smiling and looking at the camera, as he balances on the steps beside the fountain base of the statue. In the background there are various neon signs and billboards advertising products such as; 'PICCADILLY THEATRE: LIONEL BART'S OLIVER! LONDONS LONGEST RUNNING MUSICAL; PRICES 6/6 TO £1', 'THE WORLDS ONLY ELECTRONIC WRIST TIMEPIECE: BULOVA ACCUTRON', 'CLASSIC CINEMA: MICHAEL CAINE IN 'FUNERAL IN BERLIN''. DELICIOUS COCA-COLA - REFRESHING; THINGS GO BETTER WITH COKE', 'DAVID LEANS SPECTACULAR GIANT: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO; 2ND TRIUMPHNT YEAR' and 'BOAC VC10; TRIUMPHANTLY SWIFT, SILENT, SERENE', among others.
Dimensions
  • Image size height: 280mm
  • Image size width: 278mm
Style
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and inscriptions
Signed 'JAMES BARNOR 1967/2011' bottom right of image and 'ED 2/10' lower right, verso.
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’s photograph of the BBC’s first black broadcaster, Mike Eghan, on the steps of the landmark Piccadilly Circus fountain cements the emergence of a black cultural presence in Britain. This confident arrival is combined with a backdrop of neon advertising, which had made a lasting impression on Barnor since he first moved to London in 1959.



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.103-2012

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Record createdJanuary 31, 2012
Record URL
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