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William T. Turman

Wabash Valley profiles : a series of tributes to hometown heroes who have made a difference

Description: One typed page including photograph; biography of William T. Turman, Indiana artist.
Wabash Valley Profiles: A series of tributes to hometown heros who have made a diffrence. William T. Turman: The value of paintings by William Thomas Turman,chairman of the art department at Indiana State University for 40 years and the first president of the Swope Art Museum, continue to escalate.One of 12 children of Return Johnathan andPerdina (Wible) Turman, William was born June19, 1867, in Turman Township near Graysville inSullivan County, Ind. After securing a commonschool education while helping his parents farm,he graduated from Union Christian College atMerom, Ind., and pursued formal art instruction at the University of Pennsylvania, Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the Chicago Art Institute. In 1894 he was chosen to succeed George W. Thompson as chairman of the department of penmanship and drawing atIndiana State Normal School, now Indiana State University.Known for his extreme modesty, Professor Turman remained at the college untilretirement in 1934, a period marked by steady growth. With his first wife, the former Margaret Fisher, whom he married in 1895, Turman raised two children, Arthur and Ruth, while residing at 1629 S. Fifth St. An active member of the Woman's Department Club, Margaret Turman died April 12, 1943.When the Swope Art Gallery management team was organized in 1939, Turman was elected the inaugural president of its board of managers and served in that capacity until he left Terre Haute in 1957 at age 90 to live with his daughter in California. Upon his recommendation, John Rogers Cox became the museum director. When Cox left, Turman served as acting director until a permanentreplacement was secured. On June 9, 1944, Turman wed Hazel L. Dodge, a WileyHigh School graduate and a 1927 Indiana State alumnus who was curator at the Swope for 15 years beginning in 1942.Known for his impressionistic landscapes of Brown County and scenic sites in the Wabash Valley, Turman traveled widely. He was particularly fond of painting oil landscapes in Colorado and California. His work won awards from the Swope, Indiana Artists Society, John Herron Art Institute, Penn Academy of Arts inPhiladelphia and the Hoosier Salon, which made him the recipient of the Edward Rector Memorial Award in 1932 for Highlights and Shadows. In 1955 Brown County Art Gallery presented Turman with an honorary life membership.Acknowledged to be "the dean of Wabash Valley artists," he was active in the American Federation of Artists, Western Arts Association, Indiana Artists Club, Hoosier Salon Patrons Association of Chicago, the Terre Haute Arts Club and several civic organizations.A few weeks after Hazel Turman died on April 4, 1957, Professor Turman moved to Taft, Cal., to live with his daughter and son-in-law, Ruth and Albert Woolen. Son Arthur Turman also resided in Taft. Professor Turman died after a brief illness on April 19, 1960, at age 93. The Turmans are interred at Roselawn Memorial Park.The art gallery established in 1939 in the Fine Arts Building at Indiana State Teachers College was named the Turman Hall of Art in honor of the esteemed educator. Since the early 1960s it has been known as the Turman Art Gallery. First Financial Bank Always Close to Home Member FDIC You’ll find First Financial Bank in these and other cities and towns near you:Terre Haute 238-6000 • Brazil 443-4481 • Rockville 765-569-3171 • Clinton 832-3504Sullivan 268-3331 • Marshall, Illinois 217-826-6311 • Robinson, Illinois 618-544-8666
Origin: 2006-12-13
Created By: McCormick, Mike
Publisher: Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Collection: Vigo County Historical Society
Copyright: Copyright Undetermined
Subjects: Art
Turman, William T.
Social Life

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