Turner painted genre scenes with a focus on the human figure and was noted for large mural decorations on public buildings. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the National Academy of Design in New York City, and in Paris. He became interested in mural painting while working for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. His murals can be found in numerous public and government buildings throughout the mid-western and eastern United States, including the Library of Congress. He maintained studios in both New York and Baltimore.