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Valerie Thornton

Born 1931, London.  Died 1991, Suffolk.

Valerie Thornton was born in London and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and from 1950-53 at Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art.  In 1954 she enrolled at Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17 in Paris where she began her lifelong devotion to the medium of etching.  She also at this early stage found a passion for architectural subject matter and was later to state that "buildings have been my language".

She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1966 and was a founder member of the Printmakers' Council.  Her work can be found in many public collections in this country and abroad, including the British Museum, the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Bibliotéque Nationale in Paris.

In the 1970s she made a series of etchings of East Anglian churches and went on to make work about the Romanesque churches of France, Spain and Italy.  Following her death, Christchurch Mansions in Ipswich curated an exhibition of her work based on an archive donated by her husband. 

Vézelay
Two Venetian Palaces
The Bridge
Mexico Cathedral