Janet Elizabeth Turner, primarily known as a graphic artist of Western subjects, was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
She initially studied art and biology at Stanford University, but changed majors to Far Eastern history when the biology program was dropped in 1935. Her real art education began when she studied painting with famed Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton from 1937 to 1941 at the Kansas City Art Institute. She also studied printmaking there with John DeMartelly. Her studies later continued at the Claremont Graduate School, California, with Henry McFee and Millard Sheets, resulting in her M.F.A. degree in 1947. She also studied silkscreen with Edward Landon. In 1952, Turner attended summer school at Columbia University Teachers College, receiving her Ph.D. in education in 1960, following additional study from 1956-1958.
Turner taught at Girls Collegiate School, Claremont from 1942 to 1947, Stephen F. Austin State College, Nacogdoches, TX from 1947 to 1956 and then California State University at Chico in 1959, continuing there until her retirement in 1983. She was named an "Outstanding Professor" in the California State University system in 1975.
Janet Turner has had two hundred one-person shows of prints and paintings in forty of the United States, and in fifty countries on six continents, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Painting Today, in 1950, and their Watercolors and Prints, in 1952; the New York World's Fair, 1964-1965; print annuals and biennials at the National Academy of Design, New York City; American Color Print Society; Brooklyn Museum; Print Club of Philadelphia, and Society of American Graphic Artists.
Museums & Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio San Francisco Museum of Art, California Benzalei National Museum, Jerusalem Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris Victoria and Albert Museum, London Society of Wildlife Art of the Nations, Gloucester, England Portland Museum of Art, Oregon William Rockhill Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri Dallas Museum of Art, Texas National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.