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The artist's studio sale
Barbara Ester Dorf was born in North London, the daughter of a Polish furrier. Her family were Jewish but she converted to Catholicism in the early 1950s. She was educated at the North London Collegiate, before studying at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and later winning a scholarship to the Slade. She then taught for a time in Oxford at the Ruskin School of Drawing and at Brooks University. Based in a studio in Notting Hill she was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions and had many one-man shows at Michael Parkin Gallery, Maas Gallery and elsewhere. The British Museum and many private collections hold examples of her work.
A somewhat eccentric figure, she was an enthusiastic traveller and had many friends in literary and artistic circles. She was a close friend of the novelist Irish Murdoch and Murdoch’s many letters to Dorf are in the collection of Kingston University.
Her book, Beginners Guide to Painting in Oils, was published in 1971.