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 Charles Yardley Turner  (1850 - 1919)

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Lived/Active: Maryland/New York      Known for: historical narrative, mural and genre painting, decorative art

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Ad Code: 3
Charles Yardley Turner
from Auction House Records.
Soldier with Sword
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Charles Yardley Turner decided early on, as an art student in the 1870s, to sign his work C.Y. Turner, as stated in his interview with the Baltimore Sun newspaper in 1912.   Subsequently he always signed his works C. Y. Turner to the point that he was known as Cy Turner instead of Charles Yardley Turner.   He generally signed with all capital letters.   He painted genre scenes in which the human figure was the focus of the painting.  He was especially noted for large mural decorations on public buildings, hotels and theaters.  Often his subjects were historical, depicting Puritans, Revolutionary War scenes and Indians.

Turner was born in Baltimore and studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 1870.  He then went to New York City and enrolled at the National Academy of Design from 1872 to 1875, and in Paris under Jean Paul Laurens, Baron Mihaly Munkacsy, and Leon Bonnat.

He returned to New York in 1882 and exhibited regularly at the National Academy, where he was voted to Associate membership in 1893.  Three years later he was made a full Academician.  

He became interested in mural painting while he was Assistant Director of decorations for the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893.  His murals can be found in numerous public and government buildings throughout the midwestern and eastern United States including the Library of Congress, and the capitol building of Wisconsin.  Turner executed many easel paintings during his career and also did drop curtains for theaters and hotel decorations.

He maintained studios in both New York and Baltimore.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Dr. Evie Terrono, Ph.D., who wrote her thesis on C. Y. Turner

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Note from Ruth Lasure:

Charles Yardley Turner served (ex-officio) on the Architectural Board of the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, NY 1901.  Head of the board was John. M. Carrere.  Turner was responsible for the architectural color scheme that resulted in the expo often being referred to as "the Rainbow City".

These Notes from AskART represent the beginning of a possible future biography for this artist. Please click here if you wish to help in its development:
Note from AskART bulletin board:
Some report his death as 1918, but the obit in ARTNEWS ASSOCIATES reports him as dying New Years Day, 1919 in the Presbyterian Hospital, New York City while he was there visiting friends. He was founder and president of the Art Student League.

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