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Mystery of Rowntree ‘Aero girl’ is solved girl’ is solved
NEARLY 60 years after she sat for her portrait, one of Rowntree’s original Aero girls has been found.
Archivists behind an exhibition of the remaining oil paintings, which advertised the chocolate bar in the 1950s, were thrilled to hear from Pamela Synge’s grandson.
He had spotted coverage of the exhibition of works from the Borthwick Institute at York University, and contacted archivists Kerstin Doble and Francesca Taylor to tell them that not only was his grandmother one of the famous Aero girls, but she still owned the sister portrait to the one used in the adverts.
“It was through press coverage of the show, and the hunt for the Aero girls, that this man got in touch,” Kerstin said.
Kerstin and Francesca have since learnt that Pamela became an Aero girl because, as an artist herself she moved in 1950s London bohemian circles, and was introduced to Aero artist James Grant by her friend Anthony Devas, and was persuaded to sit for him.
At the time, she was married to artist Rene de Meo, and she painted, danced, sang and modelled herself.
Mr Grant painted two portraits –one featured in the adverts while the other was rejected and somehow ended up in Pamela’s possession. Amazingly, she still has the distinctive gold hoop earrings she wore in 1955.
Kerstin said: “Everything in the world has changed, her appearance has changed, but those earrings are still as shiny as the day she was painted.”
Now the two women are planning to visit Mrs Synge in Belgravia to find out more about her Aero girl past.
Francesca said: “We are so excited about going to meet her in London as soon as we can. We are fascinated by that post-war period, and we want to see the original painting.”
Kertsin and Francesca want to hear from anyone who knows about the original Aero girls or the paintings. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francesca said “The exhibition has surpassed all expectations. We are so grateful, because we have had so much information from local people, and from people who use to work at the factory.”
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