Portrait of Mrs. Alexandra Rexer Tamke
1949 by Helen M. Turner
Helen M. Turner was a portrait, landscape, and still life painter who first came to New Orleans with her family in 1866. She began painting at age 22 and exhibited regularly at the Artists’ Association from 1886-1896. In 1893 she left New Orleans to become an art instructor at St. Mary’s Institute, a girls’ school in Dallas, Texas. In 1895 she moved to New York where she began teaching. She taught at the YMCA for 17 years and between 1906 and 1941 she spent her summers in Cragsmoor, New York in a community of established artists. She exhibited in New Orleans throughout the 1930s, but her production dwindled when she developed cataracts; her last painting was done in 1949.