IM Birtwistle was my aunt. We knew her as Lilla, but she had been christened Iris and apparently hated the name. She preferred to be known instead as IM Birtwistle or simply IMB. I’ve included the following biography by Peter Stanford from The Guardian on Friday 23rd June, 2006. She also had obituaries in The Times and The Independent, although not The Telegraph which would probably have been her preference.
Perceptive and demanding poet and gallery owner whose aesthetic gave her a cult status in the British art world
The gallery owner and lyric poet IM Birtwistle, who has died aged 88, was never that keen on you delving into her past. Names would occasionally crop up in conversation – dancing with Clark Gable (who apparently had bad breath), holidaying with Robert Graves on Majorca, debating religion with Muriel Spark – but just when you wanted more detail, she would sidestep your questions. “The box is so much more interesting than the contents,” she would say with a laugh, and return to the present and the future.