Artist: Valerie Thornton

1931- 1991

Valerie Thornton was born in London in 1931 but later evacuated to Canada during the war. She returned to London in 1944 and studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art in 1949 , later studying at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art from 1950-53. While there she went to a photographic exhibition of early architecture, old buildings and walls, facades and church interiors. Her husband and fellow artist Michael Chase (1915-2001) said "this was a revelation to her consciousness and lit for her a future path that never faded" In 1954 she went to Paris and studied printmaking with the renowned teacher Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 and in 1955 she succeeded Howard Hodkin as assistant art teacher at Charterhouse and in 1965  she became  a founding member of the Print Makers Council.. Valerie Thornton's first exhibition of etchings and watercolours was held in 1960 and in 1966 she married Michael Chase having first met him a few years earlier at the Zwemmer gallery in London. Chase was an eminent artist and director of the Minories Gallery in Colchester. They moved to Clare Hall in Cambridge in 1966 once married.

They were both very interested in encouraging young artists as well as collecting the work of fellow well known and established artists. Most of their collection has now been dispersed and the original drawings we currently have for sale here at Blondes Fine Art are from the personal collection of Valerie Thornton and Michael Chase. They are unframed and in original condition with the pin holes in each corner where Valerie Thornton has fixed them to a board. This is a rare opportunity to purchase the original drawings that later became editioned in print.

Architectural subjects formed a major part of her artistic output throughout her career. Although Valerie 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.