Valerie Thornton was born in London in 1931 where she later studied art at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art from 1950-53. In 1954 she went to Paris and studied printmaking with the renowned teacher Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17. Thornton then moved to New York where she spent two years at the Pratt Institute. Her first exhibition of etchings and watercolours was held in 1960.
Architectural subjects formed a major part of her artistic output throughout her career. Although Thornton occasionally tried abstract styles she most commonly employed representational elements in her work. Thornton’s work is to be found in several public collections both in Britain and America. She died in 1991. She is highly collected.