Jacqueline Ayer: Drawing on Thailand at House of Illustration





The world's first exhibition of ground-breaking 1960s illustrator, designer and entrepreneur Jacqueline Ayer

Jacqueline Ayer's picture books were a remarkable addition to 1960s America. Documenting her family’s life around the back lanes of Bangkok, they were the first published books to depict Asian culture authentically.

Born in 1930s New York to Jamaican parents, Ayer grew up with celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser in the first interracial housing in the US. She illustrated for Vogue and worked alongside Andy Warhol before moving to Thailand in the 1950s.

She also founded fashion company Design Thai, bringing Asian garments to the western market for the first time. Her prints and fabrics were inspired by traditional Thai culture without the colonial overtones of previous exports, and her reference book Oriental Fashion is still used by London College of Fashion today.

“Jacqueline Ayer was endlessly admired and respected. What is always difficult to understand is the degree to which she was able to change every culture she was embedded in, from editorial pages to clothing design, to fabrics and children’s books.” Milton Glaser

"Jacqueline quickly found inspiration in her new home. She would take her sketchbook to the backwaters of the city, punted by her gardener in his canoe." The Guardian: www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/17/the-groundbreaking-children...

House of Illustration

House of Illustration is the UK's only public gallery and education space dedicated solely to illustration, with a creative programme of exhibitions, talks and events.

Opened in July 2014 at the heart of the King's Cross regeneration area, it is the place to see, learn about and enjoy illustration in all its forms; from advertisements to animation, picture books to political cartoons and scientific drawings to fashion design.

Principal Supporter

Major Supporters

Headline Partner