Jessie Marion King

1875 - 1949

Illustrator. Born in Bearsden (East Dunbartonshire), a daughter of the manse, she trained as a teacher at Queen Margaret College in Glasgow, and entered Glasgow School of Art in 1892. She worked as a tutor at the Art College until she married another artist, E.A. Taylor (1874 - 1951) in 1908. Her exquisite pen-and-ink drawings were influenced by the Art Nouveau movement and King became one of the group known as the Glasgow Girls. In 1904, King was commissioned to produce ninety-five illustrations for 'The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems' by the noted English designer and poet William Morris. Although best known as an illustrator of mostly children's books, she also designed jewellery, ceramics, fabrics and wallpaper. King and Taylor moved to Salford (England) in 1908 and then to Paris two years later. Her work there was considered influential in establishing the Art Deco style. They returned to Scotland in 1915, settling in Kirkcudbright, where she became known as a rather eccentric local character. She died in Kirkcudbright. Her ashes were scattered on the grave of Mary McNab (d. 1938), her devoted Gaelic-speaking nursemaid and housekeeper.

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