Artist and lecturer who attended Manchester College of Art and Design, 1961–5, and the Royal Academy Schools, 1966–9, with a Leverhulme Travelling Scholarship studying ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman art in Europe, north Africa and the Middle East. In 1976, Atherton toured museums and archaeological sites of Central America, gathering information for paintings based on the pre-Columbian period, later, with Scottish Arts Council sponsorship, visiting northern Greece and Turkey to investigate how the ancient Greeks enhanced their sculpture with colour. From 1973, Atherton lectured at Glasgow School of Art, becoming head of fine art. Took part in many mixed shows in Britain and abroad, from 1991 having a series of one-man exhibitions at the New Academy Gallery.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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