Janet Elizabeth Turner, primarily known as a graphic artist of Western subjects, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She initially studied art and biology at Stanford University, but changed majors to Far Eastern history when the biology program was dropped in 1935. Her real art education began when she studied painting with famed Regionalist artist, Thomas Hart Benton from 1937-1941 at the Kansas City Art Institute. She also studied printmaking there with John DeMartelly. Her studies later continued at the Claremont Graduate School, California, with Henry McFee and Millard Sheets, resulting in her M.F.A. degree in 1947. She also studied silkscreen with Edward Landon. In 1952, Turner attended summer school at Columbia University Teachers College, receiving her Ph.D. in education in 1960, following additional study from 1956-1958.
Turner taught at Girls Collegiate School, Claremont (1942-1947); Stephen F. Austin State College, Nacogdoches, TX (1947-1956); then, in 1959, California State University at Chico, continuing there until her retirement in 1983. She was named an "Outstanding Professor" in the California State University system in 1975.
Turner has had two hundred one-person shows of prints and paintings in forty of the United States, and in fifty countries on six continents, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Painting Today, in 1950, and their Watercolors and Prints, in 1952; the New York World's Fair, 1964-1965; print annuals and biennials at the National Academy of Design, New York City; American Color Print Society; Brooklyn Museum; Print Club of Philadelphia, and Society of American Graphic Artists. Jane Turner's work may be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; San Francisco Museum of Art, California; Benzalei National Museum, Jerusalem; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Society of Wildlife Art of the Nations, Gloucester, England; Portland Museum of Art, Oregon; William Rockhill Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; and the National Museum of American Art and the Smithsonian Institution, both in Washington, DC.
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