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:
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)
- 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.