Elizabeth Ayers (née Fitzgerald; 19 September 1915 – 10 November 2017), known as Duffy Ayers, was an English portrait painter. She was one of a pair of identical twin girls born to her American mother and Irish father, and has been known for most of her life by the nickname "Duffy".
She trained at the Central School of Art in London, and later married the painter and printmaker Michael Rothenstein RA, son of Sir William Rothenstein. In 1941 the couple moved to Chapel Cottage in the Essex village of Great Bardfield, and relocated the next year to Ethel House in the centre of the village. Duffy and Michael were important members of the famous art community resident in the north Essex village during the post-war period. At Great Bardfield she was mainly known as Duffy Rothenstein, although she still painted under the name Betty Fitzgerald. The Rothensteins, along with other village artists, organised a series of large open-house exhibitions that garnered much press attention during the 1950s. During this time Duffy painted mostly portraits, and exhibited some of her work at the 1955 Great Bardfield Artists’ summer exhibition.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
William Michael Rothenstein was an English printmaker, painter and art teacher.
Sir William Rothenstein was an English painter, printmaker, draughtsman, lecturer, and writer on art. Emerging during the early 1890s, Rothenstein continued to make art right up until his death in the mid-1940s. Though he covered many subjects – ranging from landscapes in France to representations of Jewish synagogues in London – he is perhaps best known for his work as a war artist in both world wars, his portraits, and his popular memoirs, written in the 1930s. More than two hundred of Rothenstein's portraits of famous people can be found in the National Portrait Gallery collection. The Tate Gallery also holds a large collection of his paintings, prints and drawings. Rothenstein served as Principal at the Royal College of Art from 1920 to 1935. He was knighted in 1931 for his services to art. In March 2015 'From Bradford to Benares: the Art of Sir William Rothenstein', the first major exhibition of Rothenstein's work for over forty years, opened at Bradford's Cartwright Hall Gallery, touring to the Ben Uri in London later that year.
By the end of 1955 her marriage to Michael Rothenstein had dissolved, and she left Great Bardfield. She settled in Bloomsbury, London, and married the graphic artist, Eric Ayers (1921 - 2001). After her second marriage she painted under the name of Duffy Ayers, and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. One of her oil portraits, "The Arrival" (1993) is in the North West Essex collection of the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden.
Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London, famed as a fashionable residential area and as the home of numerous prestigious cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. It is bounded by Fitzrovia to the west, Covent Garden to the south, Regent's Park and St. Pancras to the north, and Clerkenwell to the east.
The Fry Art Gallery is an art gallery in Saffron Walden, Essex. Recognised as an Accredited Museum by Arts Council England, it displays work by artists of national significance who lived or worked in North West Essex during the twentieth century and after. The gallery is known for its comprehensive collection of work by the Great Bardfield Artists, including Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
Saffron Walden is a market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, 12 miles (19 km) north of Bishop's Stortford, 18 miles (29 km) south of Cambridge and 43 miles (69 km) north of London. It retains a rural appearance and some buildings of the medieval period. The 2001 parish population of 14,313 had risen to 15,504 by the 2011 census.
Ayers latterly lived in London, and had two children from her first marriage; Julian Rothenstein, owner of Redstone Press, and Anne Rothenstein, artist and wife of film-director Stephen Frears. She turned 100 in September 2015and died in November 2017 at the age of 102.
Redstone Press is a London-based art book publisher that was founded in 1986 by Julian Rothenstein, the son of English portrait painter Duffy Ayers and her first husband, the painter and printmaker Michael Rothenstein. Redstone Press has been characterised as "a shining example of how books should be published. Their books are beautifully designed and flawlessly produced with fantastically original and entertaining content." Publisher Julian Rothenstein, who has been called "a one-man art movement", is also the press's editor and designer.
Stephen Arthur Frears is an English film and television director. Frears has directed numerous films since the 1980s including My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen, Philomena, and Florence Foster Jenkins. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director: for The Grifters and The Queen. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph named him among the 100 most influential people in British culture.
A centenarian is a person who lives to the age of 100 years. Because life expectancies worldwide are below 100 years, the term is invariably associated with longevity. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.
Vanessa Bell was an English painter and interior designer, a member of the Bloomsbury Group and the sister of Virginia Woolf.
Henriette Wyeth Hurd was an American artist noted for her portraits and still life paintings.
Great Bardfield is a large village in the Braintree district of Essex, England. It is located approximately 9 miles (14 km) northwest of the town of Braintree, and approximately 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Saffron Walden.
Edward Bawden, (1903–1989) was an English painter, illustrator and graphic artist, known for his prints, book covers, posters, and garden metalwork furniture. Bawden taught at the Royal College of Art, where he had been a student, worked as a commercial artist and served as a war artist in World War Two. He was a fine watercolour painter but worked in many different media. He illustrated several books and painted murals in both the 1930s and 1960s. He was admired by Edward Gorey, David Gentleman and other graphic artists, and his work and career is often associated with that of his contemporary Eric Ravilious.
John Aldridge, was an accomplished oil painter, skilled draftsman, wallpaper designer, and esteemed art teacher in the United Kingdom. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) in 1954 and a Royal Academician (RA) in 1963.
Stanley Clifford-Smith (1906–1968) was an English Expressionist painter and textile designer who was active as an artist in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
Audrey Cruddas (1912–1979) was an English costume and scene designer, painter and potter.
The Great Bardfield Artists were a community of artists who lived in Great Bardfield, a village in north west Essex, England, during the middle years of the 20th century.
Elizabeth Joan Glass (1915–2000), was an English textile designer and painter.
Henry Tonks, FRCS was a British surgeon and later draughtsman and painter of figure subjects, chiefly interiors, and a caricaturist. He became an influential art teacher.
Marianne Straub OBE was one of the leading commercial designers of textiles in Britain in the period from the 1940s to 1960s. She said her overriding aim was: "to design things which people could afford. ... To remain a handweaver did not seem satisfactory in this age of mass-production".
Marianne Stokes (1855–1927), born Marianne Preindlsberger, was an Austrian painter. She settled in England after her marriage to Adrian Scott Stokes (1854–1935), the landscape painter, whom she had met in Pont-Aven. Stokes was considered one of the leading women artists in Victorian England.
Julia Sorrell is a British artist known for her portraits and imaginative drawings and paintings using figures and natural forms such as wood, shells, rock and plants using a range of media from pencil, charcoal, pen & ink, pastel, watercolour and oil. She currently lives in Norfolk and exhibits in London at the Mall Galleries as a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Society of British Artists.
Bernard Cheese was an English painter and printmaker, a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. His works are found in internationally important collections in the UK and US.
Eileen Lucy "Tirzah" Garwood was a British artist and engraver, considered a member of the Great Bardfield Artists. She was the wife of the artist Eric Ravilious from 1930 until his death in 1942.
Walter Hoyle (1922–2000) was an English artist, known for his prints, watercolours and illustration. He was a central figure in the Great Bardfield group of artists and a close associate of Edward Bawden. He taught at the Central School, London, and, for twenty years, at the Cambridge School of Art.
Cicely Hey (1896-1980) was a British artist known as a painter, sculptor and model-maker. Although born in England she spent much of her career in Wales.