When Jennifer Copley-May saw the summer issue of RA Magazine
she did a double take: ‘Good Lord,’ she said, ‘that’s my aunt!" Gazing out from the cover was the unmistakable face of Jennifer's aunt, Juliet Kepes.
Taken by Juliet’s husband György Kepes, the striking portrait is one of the photographs in the RA's Eyewitness exhibition
(now in its final week), which focuses on the wealth of photographic talent to emerge from Hungary in the 20th century.
Via the wonders of Twitter, Jennifer's daughter Emma Boden-Lee got in touch with us and last week we paid them a visit to hear more about the story behind the photograph.
Juliet Appleby was just 17 when she met György Kepes, a Hungarian émigré whose travels had brought him to London, where he was working with the photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (also featured in 'Eyewitness').
"The way they met has become a family legend," Jennifer says. "He was in one of the big stations in London and he saw this beautiful girl walking along and said to himself ‘I’m going to marry her,’ and then he told her that. And of course he did."
Juliet was herself an artist and after the couple emigrated to the US, she went on to create award-winning children's books. Photography was but one of György's talents - he was an influential writer, thinker and educator in the field of design theory. He taught at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, and founded MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies where his circle included Charles Eames, Walter Gropius and Buckminster Fuller.
In 1949 they were featured in LIFE Magazine with a series of photographs of the innovative play room they created for their two children, Julie and Imre, using natural materials.
In the film above, Jennifer and Emma share their memories of György and Juliet and show us some of their work, including children's books from the 1950s and '60s written and illustrated by Juliet.