Robert Chapman Turner was born in Port Washington, New York, in 1913. He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he obtained two fellowships for studying art that allowed him to travel throughout the United States, as well as in Mexico and Europe. Attracted by the physicality and hand making process of the ceramic, Turner later changed his course of studies, and in 1949 he obtained an MFA in Industrial Ceramic Design from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Afterwards, he was invited to start the ceramics program at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1952, he established a studio in Alfred Station, NY, and became a faculty member at Alfred University’s School of Art & Design, where he taught ceramic art until his retirement in 1979. Turner died in 2005.