© Laura Walker

Ben Turner (1912-1966)

Ben Turner was born in 1912 in Gallup, New Mexico. Ben Turner was one of few native New Mexico artists to become a prominent commercial success in the first half of the twentieth century. He also was a direct descendent of Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), the famous English marine painter. The American Turner’s specialty was the depiction of cottonwoods, aspens and adobe scenes. He died on February 3, 1966 in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Ben showed a great deal of interest in art as a young child and enrolled at the University of New Mexico and then the Chicago Art Institute upon graduation from high school. He created a daily comic strip named “Jerry n Jake” that ran in over 48 newspapers around the Southwest. After his formal studies, Turner headed to Taos where he met and studied with Eanger Couse, Ernest Blumenschein, Victor Higgins and Joseph Henry Sharp (of the Taos Society of Artists).

Turner’s works have been exhibited at the University of New Mexico Fine Arts Galleries in Albuquerque. His paintings are included in the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Fine Arts Museum in Santa Fe, and the New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque.

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