1937. A portrait of Ava Gardner, annotated in ink on the reverse “About 14 or 15 years old”. It’s three years since the family moved to Newport News, Virginia. Ava is at school where she’s intimidated by her fellow pupils, who make fun of her hillbilly accent. And things are no easier at home. With the onset of puberty, her mother’s boarders, “revolting old men” as she remembers them, eye her up and try to flirt with her. She feels too inhibited even to invite a friend round.