The Thornton Archives

Westbridge Fine Art Ltd. is the sole worldwide agent for the estate works of Mildred Valley Thornton.

The Thornton Archives includes a wide range of Plains and West Coast First Nations portraits painted in the 1940s, as well as magnificent Prairie and West Coast landscape paintings and watercolours. This site offers you a wide selection of important work from the artist's estate, as well as biographical information on the artist herself. Thornton is viewed as one of Canada's more important and celebrated artists, about whose work it has been said that "no woman has the right to paint with such power!".

Visit the Following Exhibits:

MILDRED VALLEY THORNTON, FRSA (1890 - 1967) - Biography

Born in 1890 in Dresden, Ontario, Thornton's family moved to Regina in 1913. There she became fascinated with the Plains Indians. By 1926 she was married with children, nevertheless she spent weeks at a time away from home, living with different native communities across the prairies, gaining the trust and acceptance of her subjects, who permitted her to attend ceremonies and rituals seldom seen by non-Natives. She felt responsible for capturing Canada's Native history in written word and in paintings.

When the depression hit in the 1930s, Thornton and her family moved to British Columbia, where she was enchanted by the natural landscape and continued to study and paint the local native populations. She spent time in London, England, where her work was exhibited at the Royal Commonwealth Institutes. She returned to Vancouver in 1961, but was victim to failing health. She died in 1967. Although the Canadian government has refused her collection, Thornton received many honors, including two from native tribes. The Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia made her a princess of the Clan Eagle and named her "Ah-ou-Mookht," meaning "the one who wears the blanket because she is of noble birth," and the Crees named her "Owas-ka-esk-ean" or "putting your best ability for us Indians."

Westbridge Fine Art is the exclusive representative of the estate of Mildred Valley Thornton.


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