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Michael Ayrton

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Nationality  British
Name  Michael Ayrton
Role  Artist

Michael Ayrton NPG 5138 Sir William Turner Walton Portrait National

Full Name  Michael A. Gould
Born  20 February 1921London, England
Occupation  artist, writer, painter, printmaker, sculptor, critic, broadcaster and novelist
Died  November 16, 1975, London, United Kingdom
Books  The maze maker, The Testament of Daedalus
Parents  Barbara Ayrton-Gould, Gerald Gould
People also search for  Barbara Ayrton-Gould, Gerald Gould, Peter Cannon-Brookes
Resting place  St Botolph's Aldgate, Hadstock

Michael Ayrton-Liebesfreud By Kreisler


Michael Ayrton (20 February 1921 – 16 November 1975) was an English artist and writer, renowned as a painter, printmaker, sculptor and designer, and also as a critic, broadcaster and novelist. His varied output of sculptures, illustrations, poems and stories reveals an obsession with flight, myths, mirrors and mazes.

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Michael Ayrton Regals Michael Ayrton Prints Original Prints

He was also a stage and costume designer, working with John Minton on the 1942 John Gielgud production of Macbeth at the age of nineteen, and a book designer and illustrator for Wyndham Lewis's The Human Age trilogy. An exhibition, 'Word and Image' (National Book League 1971), organised with Wyndham Lewis, explored their literary and artistic connections. He also collaborated with Constant Lambert and William Golding.

Michael Ayrton reviewsandramblings Michael Ayrton February 20 1921

Michael Ayrton CRFU


Life and career

Michael Ayrton Michael Ayrton 19211975 The Arkville Minotaur 20th

Ayrton was born Michael Gould, son of the writer Gerald Gould and the Labour politician Barbara Ayrton, and took his mother's maiden name professionally. His maternal grandmother was the electrical engineer and inventor, Hertha Marks Ayrton. In his teens during the 1930s he studied art at Heatherley School of Fine Art and St John's Wood Art School, then in Paris under Eugène Berman, where he shared a studio with John Minton. He travelled to Spain and attempted to enlist on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War, but was rejected for being under-age.

Michael Ayrton Michael Ayrton

In the 1940s, Ayrton participated in the BBC's popular radio program The Brains Trust.

Beginning in 1961, Michael Ayrton wrote and created many works associated with the myths of the Minotaur and Daedalus, the legendary inventor and maze builder, including bronze sculpture and the pseudo-autobiographical novel "The Maze Maker" (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967). He also wrote and illustrated "Tittivulus Or The Verbiage Collector", an account of the efforts of a minor devil to collect idle words. He was the author of several non-fiction works on fine art, including "Aspects of British Art" (Collins, 1947).

He died in 1975.

In 1977, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery organised a major retrospective exhibition of his work which subsequently went on tour.

His work is in several important collections including the Tate Gallery, London, National Portrait Gallery, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fry Art Gallery, Essex.

Selected writings

  • 1946: British Drawing. London: Collins ASIN B00149X1DM
  • 1947: Aspects of British Art. London: Collins
  • 1953: Tittivulus or The verbiage collector. London: Max Reinhardt
  • 1962: The Testament of Daedalus. London: Methuen. Reprinted 1991, with a foreword by Rex Warner: London: Robin Clark, 1991. ISBN 086072140X
  • 1967: The Maze Maker: a novel. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston
  • 1972: Fabrications". London: Secker & Warburg. / New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1973
  • References

    Michael Ayrton Wikipedia


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