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Jacqueline Ayer

Jacqueline Ayer (1930–2012) had a career that spanned many creative fields. She began as a fashion illustrator, and later turned her hand to children’s books, textiles and garments, as she worked in New York, Paris, London, Bangkok, Hong Kong and across India.

This exhibition focuses on Ayer's years in Bangkok, Thailand (1956–63). Inspired by the people, patterns, and places around her, she created vibrant children's books and launched her textile company, Design Thai.

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Born in New York in 1930 to Jamaican parents, Jacqueline Ayer grew up in a workers’ cooperative in the Bronx.

“My brother and I were full members of the rather raucous language, the street life and games of the neighbourhood.”

Ayer’s father was a graphic artist and her mother a dressmaker. From an early age, Ayer loved to draw and was interested in fashion.

Black and white drawing of a large mock Tudor apartment complex surround by trees
Black and white drawing of a large mock Tudor apartment complex surround by trees

Bronx Park East NY (2009), Ink on paper, © Jacqueline Ayer, Courtesy of Bet Ayer

Black and white photograph of a young Black woman with her hair up, drawing at a desk
Black and white photograph of a young Black woman with her hair up, drawing at a desk

Jacqueline Ayer (date and photographer unknown), courtesy of Bet Ayer

More work by Jacqueline Ayre