Valerie Thornton (1931-1991)

Born in London in 1931 Thornton studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art from 1950-53. In 1954 she went to Paris and studied printmaking at Atelier 17 under Stanley William Hayter. Thornton then moved to New York where she spent two years at the Pratt Institute. In 1957 Thornton exhibited at the Zwemmer Gallery with Edward Bawden, John Piper, Julian Trevelyan, Merlyn Evans, Bernard Cheese and others. Her first solo exhibition at the Zwemmer Gallery was in 1965. Between 1975-85 she made regular trips to Spain, France and Italy in search of Romanesque material for her etchings. During this period Thornton also made prints of both Romanesque and Gothic sculpture and ornamentation in English ecclesiastical buildings.

Famed for her detailed architectural etchings, Thornton occasionally tried abstract styles. Thornton’s work is to be found in public collections in Britain and America. She died in 1991.

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