Arnold E. Turtle

Arnold E. Turtle (UNITED STATES / ILLINOIS / LOUISANA, 1892 - 1954) 

Arnold Turtle was born in 1892 in Birmingham, England. He lived there until the age of 24, where he began a career in insurance, dabbling in art and music on the side.

He emigrated to the United States in 1922 and changed careers, going into accounting but was drawn ever closer to art. He took night classes at the Chicago Art Institute, the Chicago Fine Arts Academy. He joined the Palette and Chisel in 1926 (paying the princely initiation fee of $100.00) and remained a due paying member until his death. At the Palette and Chisel he received great support and encouragement from his peers and was able to become a full-time artist by 1928.

His initial exhibit in Chicago in 1929 was considered a critical and commercial success very much and his career was born. It has been said that Arnold “…cared about paint and how he could make it dance.” and “..he was a composer of music who ended up composing duets for brush and canvas.”

Turtle traveled and painted all over the United States. He was a frequent visitor to Brown County to paint.

In the January 7, 1955 Chicago Daily Tribune review of the (posthumous) Arnold Turtle Memorial Exhibition, it was reported that “Arnold Turtle’s two loves were landscape and figure painting, which invariably meant to him young women dressed in flowing and utterly feminine gowns.” and, Turtle “found the beautiful and picturesque everywhere. He once made a fairy scene of an Evanston alley; there was no limit to his vision nor to his ability to put on canvas an impression which told more than the camera.”

Arnold Turtle died in 1954 in Galena, Illinois.

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