Helen Maria Turner

An artist who did not receive professional recognition until her fifties, Helen Turner overcame personal setbacks to become the fourth female and first Louisianan to achieve the rank of full academician from the distinguished National Academy of Design in New York. Beginning in 1906, she spent her summers at the art colony in Cragsmoor, New York, where her seasonal residence became the light-filled setting for her best-known impressionistic work. One such painting, A Song of Summer, reveals Turner’s expertise in depicting the female figure outdoors. Here, a young woman strums a guitar against a sun-dappled woodsy background—a solitary moment of reverie in nature’s sitting room.