Ghana Paints Hollywood
November 9, 2017–February 19, 2018
This November, the New Britain Museum of American Art presents Ghana Paints Hollywood—a vibrant exhibition featuring over 50 hand-painted movie posters created by Ghanaian artists in the mid-1980s to the early 1990s—a period referred to as the "Golden Age" of Ghanaian Movie posters. Commissioned to advertise movie screenings throughout the nation’s countryside, the posters reveal the unique artistic skills of their creators as well as the wide variety of Hollywood films that attracted the Ghanaian public, including blockbusters such as Coming to America, The Matrix, Indiana Jones, and Rocky.
Unique in all of Africa, the Golden Age of imagination-driven movie posters arose in Ghana at a time when commercial marketing from abroad was minimal and these unique and exotic visual narrative paintings were made by the best and brightest artists of a generation. Hired by local film distributors, these artists, including Joe Mensah, Gilbert Forson, Leonardo, and Death Wonder, competed fiercely and directly in the public eye for this exciting new work, being careful to sign and date the great majority of their paintings. Their artistry stood its ground against the inevitable tide of printing technology that globalization introduced, and for a short while, represented a brief period in which man won out over machines.
There is a compelling cross-cultural conversation generated by these images of American films, painted by Ghanaian artists exclusively for their local audience. It is unlikely that American filmmakers imagined that their films would be seen in Ghana; or that these artists in Ghana ever considered that their artwork would have a chance to be seen in the country where the movies that so inspired them were produced.
Exhibition Organizers and Sponsors
Ghana Paints Hollywood is organized by the New Britain Museum of American Art in collaboration with Ernie Wolfe III.
It is made possible by the generous support of John N. Howard and Sylvia Bonney.
We gratefully acknowledge the funding of Anita Arcuni Ferrante and Anthony Ferrante; Brendan and Carol Conry; The David T. Langrock Foundation; The Aeroflex Foundation; Sam and Janet Bailey; and Pierre and MaryEllen Guertin. Additional support is provided by Kelly and Jonathan Jarvis; Susan and John Rathgeber; The West Family; the New Britain Commission on the Arts and the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts; and Carolyn and Elliot Joseph.
November 9, 2017
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Collector, curator, and African art and culture expert, Ernie Wolfe will speak about the derivation and history of these exciting and unique traditional Golden ...
November 8, 2017
2017 Ghana Paints Hollywood VIP and Premier Opening
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
November 30, 2017
The Black Stars of Ghana—Art District (60 min.)
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Please join the Museum for a special screening of series of brief interviews with prominent contemporary artists in Ghana. Shown iIn conjunction with the ...
November 2, 2017
Hand-painted Burlap with Jayne Bogucki
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
In Ghanaian culture of the mid-late 1980s through the 90s, international cinema, particularily from America, was extremely popular. In order to Screenings were held ...
December 11, 2017
From Words to Pictures
1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
In Ghanaian culture of the mid-late 1980s through the 90s, international cinema, particularily from America, was extremely popular. Screenings were held both by day ...
December 7, 2017
Sculpting Superheroes with Jim Brunelle
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
In Ghanaian culture of the mid-late 1980s through the 90s, movies frominternational cinema, particularly from America, werewas extremely popular, particularly those that feautured ...
December 6, 2017
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The Akan ethnic group of South Ghana, is the largest ethnic group in the Gold Coast, dominated the gold mining and trading in the ...