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Efie Gallery : J. K. Bruce-Vanderpuije : The hidden icon of modern African photography


Dubai’s Efie Gallery presents the first solo exhibition of J. K. Bruce-Vanderpuije (1899-1989), the forgotten forefather of 20th century African photography, curated by the award-winning Ethiopian photographer Aïda Muluneh chronicling life in Ghana the 1920s and 30s.

In a career spanning seven decades and consisting of around 50,000 works (almost all unseen and unpublished), Bruce-Vanderpuije captured his nation’s transformation over the 20th century, from colonial Gold Coast to independent Ghana. Preceding the likes of James Barnor and Malick Sidibé, Bruce-Vanderpuije’s images date as far back as the 1920s and 30s, they provide unparalleled insight into the realities of the time though Ghanaian eyes.

The works have been meticulously restored over the past three years by the artist’s granddaughter, Kate Tamakloe, and are housed at the Deo Gratias studio in Accra, founded by Bruce-Vanderpuije in 1922 and believed to be the oldest photography studio still in operation in West Africa.


J.K. Bruce-Vanderpuije : The hidden icon of modern African photography
12 January – 24 February 2024
Efie Gallery
13 – 7 19 Street
Al Quoz – Dubai
United Arab Emirates

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