DELF, Vera Eleanor

1904 - 1999

As Vera Eleanor Hart, she was born at Cawnpore, India on 17 August and baptised 3 September 1904, daughter of Frank Walter Hart and his wife Alice née Sheen, who married in 1897. By 1911, the family were living at 16 Granville Street, Ealing where father Frank was a commercial traveller. Vera attended Glasgow School of Art in 1924 but, favouring a direct approach to her portraits, especially of children, left after the first year with her pictures much in demand. She returned to India where she married at Colaba, Bombay on 30 December 1929, Brigadier Charles MacIntyre Delf (1897-1981), their daughter was Deborah Ardizzone [q.v.], and it was not until after the Second World War that they returned to England, settling at Yoxford, Suffolk. Vera was very active in the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and against American bases, writing many articles in newspapers and journals. With the help of friends Julian Trevelyan (1910-1988) and Mary Fedden, in the early 1960s she established in the grounds of her Suffolk home The Yoxford Gallery. A number of successful artists exhibited there, among them John Piper (1903-1992), Henry Holzer (1907-2007), Keith Grant (born 1930) and Ian Simpson (1933-2011), who donated pictures for causes like Medical Aid for Vietnam that Vera supported. She died at Yoxford on 26 February 1999.