I bought as many styles and techniques as possible, regardless of the reputation of the artist, because, in teaching printmaking, every new technique is interesting, and different ideas and different styles should interest different students, rather than trying to teach one method and rather than trying to teach my viewpoint. — JANET TURNER, 1975
Dr. Janet Turner (1914-1988) was a professor of fine art and art education at California State University, Chico (1959-1981) and founded the University’s printmaking program, teaching generations of artists and teachers.
Turner collected prints over a span of 40 years in order to introduce students to a wide range of printmaking practices, and generously left her collection to CSU, Chico. Today, the collection of almost 4,000 fine art prints includes artists from more than 40 countries, with works by Dalí, Dürer, Goya, Hockney, Hogarth, Kollwitz, Miró, Picasso, Rembrandt, Renoir, Saar, Tamayo, Turner, and many more.
Turner began collecting prints in the late 1940’s when she expanded her medium, painting in egg tempera and watercolor, to printmaking. She and other women artists created a print club – a venue in which they would meet periodically in one another’s homes to show and talk about their work. Seeing, handling and discussing actual prints representing different approaches to graphic art was both stimulating and educational for Turner. She bought prints from established fine art galleries and from the artists themselves. She also acquired student prints and prints through the International Graphic Art Society, of which she was an early member, and from other professional groups of printmakers and collectors.
Housed since 1981 at California State University, Chico, the collection is a rich resource, free and open to the public. The Janet Turner Print Museum mounts unique exhibitions during each academic year, showcasing both the collection and current trends in printmaking.