biography of Beatrice TURNER (?-c.1948)

Birth place: Philadelphia, PA

Death place: Newport, RI

Addresses: Newport, RI

Profession: Portrait painter

Studied: PAFA, at age 18

Comments: She was raised by dominating Philadelphia Main Line parents who withdrew her from PAFA because of the nude models. She became reclusive, dressed in Victorian garb, painted her house black, and apparently painted thousands of self-portraits. In 1950, Life magazine ran a photo spread, Lonely Spinster Paints 1,000 Portraits of Herself." She lived at the family's Victorian home in Newport, RI. Upon her death, she left a large fund to the Phila. Mus. Art to purchase art by contemporary American artists. However, her executors burned most of her 3,000 paintings at the city dump in 1948. A small number of paintings still survive in Newport, and these formed the core of a 1993 exhibition at her home, now the Cliffside Inn in Newport.

Sources: Sheldon Bart, Beatrice 1998."

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