Helen Maria TURNER (1858-1958) ✿

Helen Maria Turner (November 13, 1858 – January 31, 1958) was an American Impressionist painter and teacher known for her work in oils, watercolors and pastels in which she created miniatures, landscapes, still lifes and portraits.
Turner began painting at twenty-two; her early works were portraits and bayou landscapes. Initially self-taught, she began taking free classes offered by Tulane University, continuing under the tutelage of Andres Molinary and Bror Anders Wikstrom; she also studied at the Artists' Association of New Orlean.
Turner taught at the YWCA for seventeen years, starting with a newly created class on costume design. Beginning in 1906 she summered at the artists' colony in Cragsmoor, New York, to which she was introduced by Charles Courtney Curran; she continued there with few interruptions until 1941.
In 1926 she returned to New Orleans and continued to teach at the Arts and Crafts Club, where her subject was draped-model drawing. She was elected an associate of the National Academy of Design in 1913, and was elected a full member in 1921, only the third woman to achieve the distinction and one of the first Academicians from the Southern United States. Furthermore, in 1916 William T. Evans nominated her an Artist Life Member of the National Arts Club; there, too, she was one of the first women accorded the honor. She continued to paint into the 1930s, but her eyesight gradually deteriorated; eventually she developed cateracts, and she was unable to paint at all after 1949.
Turner received many awards throughout her career, including the Cooper Union (New York City) bronze medal; the Elling prize for landscape from the New York Woman's Art Club; the National Arts prize from the Association of Painters and Sculptors; the Julia A. Shaw Memorial Prize from the National Academy of Design; and the John G. Agar prize from the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.

She exhibited widely as well, showing at the New York Water Color Club, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the American Society of Miniature Painters at the National Academy of Design in New York City, and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C, and being included in the exhibit Six American Women organized by the City Museum of St. Louis. Her paintings were purchased by major collectors such as Duncan Phillips. Her works can be found in many collections.

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