Ross Sterling Turner

Ross Sterling Turner (1847-1915) was born in Westport, New York. In 1862, his family moved to Alexandria, Virginia. His first job was as a mechanical draftsman, working for a time in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C. In 1876, he went to Europe, first to Paris and then to study at the Munich Academy, where he met fellow Americans William Merritt Chase and Frank Duveneck. About 1879, Turner traveled to Florence, Rome and Venice to study the Old Masters, and in Italy his work became increasingly concerned with the effects of light and color.

In 1883, Turner returned to America and settled in Boston, exhibiting his watercolors and oils at the Boston Art Club. He entered the intimate circle of Childe Hassam and the artistic community surrounding Celia Thaxter at Appledore, where he painted gardens in short, quick, colorful strokes that are similar to Hassam's style. Upon his marriage to Louise Blaney (artist Dwight Blaney's oldest sister) in 1885, he moved to Salem, but maintained a Boston studio for private lessons.