Michael Ayrton

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Michael Ayrton
TalosCambridge.jpg
Sculpture of Talos on Guildhall Street in Cambridge
Born Michael A. Gould
1921
London, England
Died 1975
London, England
Resting place
St Botolph's Church, Hadstock, Essex
Nationality British
Occupation artist, writer, painter, printmaker, sculptor, critic, broadcaster and novelist

Michael Ayrton (20 February 1921 – 17 November 1975)[citation needed] was an English artist and writer, known as a painter, printmaker, sculptor and designer, and also as a critic, broadcaster and novelist. He was a stage and costume designer, working with John Minton on the 1942 John Gielgud production of Macbeth from age 19; and a book designer and illustrator, for Wyndham Lewis's The Human Age trilogy and William Golding. He also collaborated with Constant Lambert.

Life and career[edit]

Ayrton was born Michael Gould and took his mother's maiden name professionally.[citation needed]

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).[1]

He died in 1975.

In 1977, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery organised a major retrospective exhibition of his work which subsequently went on tour.[2]

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[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • James Laver, Paintings by Michael Ayrton (1948. Grey Walls Press, London)
  • C. P. Snow, Michael Ayrton Drawings and Sculpture (1962)
  • Cannon-Brookes, Peter, Michael Ayrton: an illustrated commentary (1978. Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery)
  • Peter Tucker, 'The book illustrations of Michael Ayrton', in The Private Library; 3rd series, 9:1 (1986 Spring), p.2-52
  • Hopkins, Justine Michael Ayrton: a biography (1994. Deutsch, London)
  • Nyenhuis, Jacob E., Myth and the Creative Process: Michael Ayrton and the myth of Daedalus, the Maze Maker (2003. Wayne State University Press, Detroit)

External links[edit]