Don Laviere Turner Biography

Don Laviere Turner




Painter, printmaker, and sculptor Don LaViere Turner was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 24, 1929. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, earning his B.S. degree in 1951 and his M.S. in 1953, and studied printmaking under John Wilde. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles, California, to attend the Otis Institute. At this time he also began exhibiting nationally, winning grants from the Jose Drudis Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, a UNESCO grant to study in Paris, and more.

Turner and his wife Gerre lived in Glendora, California, north of Los Angeles, where Turner taught privately and maintained his studio at his home on Soderberg Street. His studio was in the front of the house and his printing facilities in his garage. Later the Turners moved to Laverne, a town north of Glendale, where he again established a printing studio. He was awarded the 1st Annual Award in Graphics by the William Carlos Williams (1964), as well as a variety of purchase awards from the Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors, the Oklahoma Printmakers Society, and the Pasadena Art Museum. 

In 1971 Don and Gerre returned to Wisconsin, where he had family. He continued to make prints and paint, and took a position teaching at UW Madison. He later won an artist-in-residence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts teaching art with the Federal Prison Bureau. In 1997 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and succumbed to the disease on December 9, 1997 in Marquette, Wisconsin.

Turner's work is held in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Norton Simon Museum, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Phonenix Art Museum, AZ; and the Kenosha Public Museum, WI, among others. In 2015, Turner's estate representative published a catalogue raisonne of his prints, Don LaViere Turner - Complete Prints: 1950 - 1984, Ken Self, 2015, 
which includes a full list of his awards and exhibitions.