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Researchers hope to unravel the mystery of the Aero girls
7:48am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
The Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell, left, inspects some of the Aero Girls exhibits with Borthwick Institute researcher Francesca Taylor
IN the 1950s they were synonymous with a brand of confectionery bar, their faces peering out from advertising posters extolling the joys of bubbly chocolate.
Their painted profiles helped sell millions of Aero bars – but more than half-a-century later have left researchers with a mystery as enigmatic as their expressions.
Who were the Aero girls? Were they real women or just fictitious creations?
The illustrations were commissioned by York-based confectioners Rowntree – now part of Nestle – for their Aero advertising campaign between 1951 and 1957.
The paintings have names like Anna, Alice, Wendy and the Art Student and 16 are included in a new exhibition at York’s Mansion House as part of Chocolate Week.
Organised by the University of York’s Borthwick Institute for Archives, the paintings will be on show – for the first time since they left the Rowntree factory – from October 12 to 20.
Researchers hope it will help unravel the mystery of the Aero girls and unearth new information about the paintings.
Supported by Aero, it will also explore why Rowntree decided to use painted images of women in their print and TV campaigns long after photography had taken precedence.
The exhibition is open from 11am to 4pm daily (closed Tuesday, October 15) and admission is free.
• If you were an Aero Girl, or if you know one, contact Borthwick Institute for Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 321166.
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