Almon Richard Turner, known as Dick, was born on July 28, 1932, in New Bedford, Mass. His father, Louis A. Turner, was a well-known physicist who helped develop radar during World War II.
He attended Princeton, where, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history, he was awarded a doctorate in 1959. His first book, “The Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy,” was published by Princeton University Press in 1966.
After teaching at the University of Michigan, Princeton and Middlebury College, he was appointed president of Grinnell College in Iowa in 1975.
In 1979 he became the director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He later served as dean of the faculty of arts and science and as director of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He retired from the university in 2000.
Mr. Turner wrote extensively on Renaissance Italy, especially Florence, in a clear, easy style that made him attractive to publishers of books for a general audience. The British publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson engaged him to write a volume on the Florentine Renaissance for its Everyman Art Library, published in the United States in 1997 under the title “Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art.”