Elmer Page Turner (1890-1966)

landscape oil painting by Elmer page turner


Elmer Turner was born in Wyoming, and in 1899 his family moved to Greeley, Colorado.  He served in the First World War as a second lieutenant, and there are some surveys and sketches from that period that show considerable academic influence.

By 1920 Turner was in Chicago studying at the Art Institute and with James E. Mcburney, a noted muralist. This is where Elmer met his wife and fellow artist Ila McAfee.  They were married in 1926 at the McAfee ranch in the Cochetopa Valley near Gunnison, Colorado, with their mentor, James McBurney in attendance. He and the newlyweds then left, traveling together to work on a mural for the Los Angeles County Museum. On the way they detoured through Taos, New Mexico, the famous art colony Ila had heard about from a fiend. They were immediately enchanted by Taos, and they quickly met many of the artists including Blanche Grant, Oscar Berninghaus, Ernest and Mary Blumenschein, Victor Higgins, and E. Martin Hennings, living in Taos at that time.

From there they went to California where they spent the winter working on the mural, as well as painting many seascapes and coastal landscape paintings.  Soon after their return from California in the spring of 1927, Elmer achieved his first success, winning acclaim for a painting used on a cover of a major national news magazine. The remainder of that year was spent working and painting in Colorado, but in 1928 Elmer and Ila moved permanently to Taos and became a big part for the art colony there.

Tragically Turner's time painting in Taos was limited, even though he lived well into his 70's, because he was paralyzed by a neurological disorder ten years after moving to the area. For this reason there are only a few hundred know paintings by Turner of this time period, and many of them are privately held, in museum collections or recently released from the family estate.

Robert L. Parsons Gallery

Schools of Study

School of Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Partial List of Collections

Taos Art Museum

Harwood Museum of Art

Denver Art Museum

Fine Arts Museum of Santa Fe

Selected Awards

First Place Prize for Landscape, Arizona Sate Fair 1931

Selected Exhibitions

Beaux Arts, Lille, France 1936-37
Andre Lhote, Paris 1938
Grande Chaumiere, Paris 1938
Art Students League, (studies with Morris Kantor), New York City 1957
Hans Hoffman School, Provincetown, Ma. 1957-58
Pratt Graphique, N.Y. 1960-61
Blatt Potterie Ceramique, NY. 1960-61

Selected Works in Our Inventory