TURNER, Percy Moore

1877 - 1950

Percy Moore Turner

Percy Moore Turner was born at 16 Old Market, Halifax, Yorkshire on 6 July 1877, son of Thomas Turner (1844-15 November 1906), a hosier, and his wife Sarah Jane née Robotham (1843-16 March 1928), who married at Halifax in 1870. In 1881 they were still living in Halifax but by 1891, Percy was a 13-year-old scholar, living at Mill Hill Road, Norwich with his parents, 46-year-old Thomas, living on his own means, 47-year-old Sarah, and 12-year-old sibling sister Maud Ethel Moore (13 March 1879-21 September 1945), all born in Halifax. In 1901 Percy, who described himself as a 'commercial traveller in leather', was boarding at 19 Sparsholt Road Egremont Terrace, Islington, London, the home of Edwin Baker, a gilder, and his family and he married at Islington in 1906, Mabel Grace Wells (3 May 1884-20 October 1978). Percy studied art in Europe and in America and became a specialist in old masters and modern French oil paintings and watercolour drawings and from 1902 was employed by French art dealers, becoming a link between the London and Paris art worlds. In 1920 he opened his own 'The Independent Gallery' at 7a Grafton Street, Bond Street, London dealing in French Impressionist and post-Impressionist works and a few contemporary French artists, also works of the Norwich School of Artists. He organised exhibitions at the Norwich Castle Museums and Art Galleries Centenary in 1925 and Gainsborough Bi-centenary at Ipswich in 1927. Turner became the main adviser for Frank Hindley Smith (1863-1939) and, as his sole executor, was responsible for the dispersal of his collection on Smith's death in 1939 and was principal advisor to collector Samuel Courtauld (1876-1947), whose collection and bequest form the Courtauld Institute Galleries in London. In 1939 Percy Moore Turner was living at Oxnead, Marsham Way, Gerrard's Cross, Buckinghamshire where he died on 10 September 1950. The author of 'Appreciation of Paintings' (1921). In 1948 he donated a painting by Georges de La Tour to the Louvre in Paris and in 1951 his bequest to the British Museum of modern French prints and drawings was registered and his 96 Rembrandt etchings were bequeathed to Norwich. Other gifts and bequests were made to the Ashmolean and other museums.