Talented Tuesday: C.Y. Turner; Artist

Charles Yardley Turner (1850-1918) born Nov. 25, 1850, in Baltimore, came to New York in 1872 and studied at the Academy of design for three years. In 1878 he went abroad to Paris where he studied under French masters Jean-Paul Laurens, Mihály Munkácsy and Léon Bonnat, forming, with some other students, the “Munkacsy school”.  He was chairman of the school committee at the Art Students League of New York in 1879, early in its history, and he first exhibited at the National academy in 1882. C.Y. Turner gained the Hallgarten prize for the “Courtship of Miles Standish” in 1883, and was also elected an associate at the academy.

His oil works include “The Grand Canal at Dordrecht,” “The Days that are No More,” and “Afternoon Tea” (1882) ; “Dorothy Fox” and “Preparing for Yearly Meeting” (1883) ; “The Last of the Montauks,” “Hartnah Thurston,” and “The Bridal Procession,” 1886:

The Bridal Procession of John Alden and Priscilla – C.Y. Turner


Turner was assistant director of decoration at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, under fellow muralist Francis Davis Millet, and for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo he served as the colorist for the entire fair. He also gave considerable attention to etching and was president of the National Society of Mural Painters from 1904-1909. In 1912 C. Y. and a fellow artist were booked on the Titanic,  and while C.Y. changed his plans at the last minute, his  friend was not so fortunate. That same year C.Y. became director of the Maryland Institute Schools of Art and Design at Baltimore.

His works include:


  • Hotel Martinque, 32nd Street and Broadway, New York City, 1898, several murals
  • Baltimore Court House, 1905, The Burning of The Peggy Stuart
  • DeWitt Clinton High School, 1905
  • Essex County Court House, Newark, New Jersey, 1905-1907
  • Hudson County Courthouse, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1910
  • Cuyahoga County Courthouse, Cleveland, Ohio, 1912
  • Wisconsin State Capitol, 1917, four murals on the theme of Transportation in the North Hearing Room

Of his water-colors the principal are:

  • Dordrecht Milkmaid” (1882)
  •  “Engaged” (1885)
  • Martha Hilton” (1886)
  •  “At the Ferry” (1887)




  • http://famousamericans.net/charlesyardleyturner/
  • Blashfield, Edwin Howland, Mural Painting in America: The Scammon Lectures, delivered before the Art Institute of Chicago, March 1912, and since greatly enlarged, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1913
  • Brief online biography at marylandartsource.org
  • “Turner, Charles Yardley”. Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
  • Wikipedia.com


11 Responses to Talented Tuesday: C.Y. Turner; Artist

  1. Scot Stickle says:

    Hi Patti,

    Which Turner are you in direct line? Samuel is my great great grandfather.Barbara’s book is a great CY resource.

    Have fun,


  2. Bill Dunn says:

    I see you have included “The Burning of the Peggy Stewart” in the list of Turner’s murals, however you omitted “Calvert’s Treaty with the Indians”. C.Y.Turner was commissioned to do both murals in the Circuit Courthouse in Baltimore City. Here is the link to the picture of that mural. https://www.facebook.com/BaltimoreLegalHistory/photos/pb.339114939520939.-2207520000.1423687883./339203269512106/?type=3&theater

    His works are wonderful, and we are so proud of his murals in the Courthouse.

  3. Richard Bailey says:

    I have an original etching of this picture app. 22×42, matted in large antiqueoak frame.
    Etched under the picture is “original etching by C.Y. Turner N.A.
    Could you tell me what this is worth?

  4. John Makinson says:

    I have a lithio print of the Dordrecht Milk Maid and I cannot find another picture of this beautiful painting anywhere and I am wondering its value?

    • Patti says:

      How fortunate that you have one of C.Y. Turner’s original works of art! C.Y. is my great grand Uncle, but I am unfortunately not an expert in the area of the value of any of his work. All I know about the particular print that you own is that it was in the Water Color Society exhibit in 1892. Best wishes in finding the information you are seeking.

  5. Barbara Chalmers says:

    C.Y. was to have accompanied his friend and artist Frank Millet to Europe with passage back booked on the Titanic. C.Y. did not go on the trip for some reason and Frank went down with the ship. The murals in the other 2 arches of the Hudson County Court House rotunda are by Frank Millet. After his death, C.Y. left NYC to reside and work in Baltimore and in Washington D.C. where he assumed Frank’s studio. C.Y. was on a trip to NYC when he became sick with the Spanish Influenza during the pandemic and died in Presbyterian Hospital with his sister, Rebecca Turner Brooks, my great-great grandmother at his side. I have seen death dates of 31 Dec 1917 and Jan 1 1918 – confusion becuase he died late at night. His tombstone says 1918.

    • Scot Stickle says:


      Regarding he Titanic I thought since a friend, Howard Taft, was sick and couldn’t go on the trip CY decided to stay behind.

      That is what my grandmother told me and she was always right. 🙂


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