Thornton, Valerie: Amboise
A superb example of Valerie Thornton’s work, an artist’s proof etching with aquatint, signed and dated ’72 in pencil lower right, framed. Amboise is on the banks of the River Loire east of Tours in central France.
Artist: Valerie Thornton, (1920-2004)
Title and date: Amboise, 1972
Size: 40.3 x 57.5 cms.
A painter and etcher, Valerie Thornton was born in London and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Regent Street Polytechnic from 1950 to 1953, then spent eight months in 1954 at S.W. Hayter’s Atelier 17 in Paris, studying etching and engraving techniques. On her return to England she bought her own press and began making prints, mostly of architectural subjects. In 1960 she spent a year in America working at the Pratt Graphic Art Centre. Her first solo exhibition was held at the Minories, Colchester in 1960 and she also showed at the Zwemmer Gallery in 1965. More recent exhibitions included a show of both paintings and prints at the Albermarle Gallery, London in 1990. A regular exhibitor at the RA and the RE, she was a founder member of the Printmakers’ Council.
Architecture and in particular the faces of Norman stone churches were frequent themes in her work which is in the collections of the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, V&A, Fitzwilliam Museum, New Hall College, Cambridge and MOMA, New York. Retrospective exhibitions were held at the Christchurch Mansion Museum and Art Gallery, Ipswich, 1994 and another at the Chappel Gallery, Essex in 1998.