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Hayletts Gallery

Biography for Duffy Ayers (1915 - 2017)

Duffy trained at the Central School of Art. She was married to the pioneer printmaker Michael Rothenstein  and lived in Great Bardfield for fourteen years from 1941,  In 1959 sLater he married Eric Ayers, a designer and a director of Editions Alecto, and moved to London, where in the 1960s she stared painting in oils.  

She was born Betty FitzGerald, with an identical twin, Peggy, in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. Their father, William FitzGerald, the feckless brother of the Irish nationalist politician and poet Desmond FitzGerald, abandoned the family when the twins were very young. Their American mother, Laura, felt she had no alternative but to leave her daughters in a convent school on the Kent coast while she went to teach English in Turkey. 

Being a twin herself she was particularly interested in the idea of being and twin,  and family relationships more generally


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