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In The Artists' Footsteps

Select a Story

 

Nan S Fergusson (Mrs James Henderson) 1910 - 1984


Archie Sutter Watt


Christian Jane (Chris) Fergusson


Edward Arthur Walton


James Paterson


E. A. Hornel


Jankel Adler


Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell


William Hanna Clarke


William Daniell


George Wright


James Faed (Senior)


James Faed Junior


John Faed


Susan Bell Faed


The Faeds


David Gauld


The Glasgow Girls


Tom Gourdie


The Glasgow Boys


Francis Grose


George Henry


Anna and Isobel Hotchkis


James G (Tim) Jeffs


Jessie M King


Oskar Kokoschka


William Miles Johnston


John Maxwell


Henry Joseph Moule


William Mouncey


William Stewart MacGeorge


Charles Oppenheimer


Samuel John Peploe


William Bruce Ellis Ranken


William Robson


Charles William Stewart


Jim Sturgeon


Alick Riddell Sturrock


E A Taylor


JMW Turner


Jemima Wedderburn


Christopher Whall


The Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Society


Jessie M King

Jessie Marion King was born on March 20th, 1875 in New Kilpatrick, now Bearsden, Galsgow, where her father, the Rev. James King was minister.  As a child Jessie showed a natural talent for drawing.  Her parents were against her following art as a career, but eventually agreed to her enrolling at the Glasgow School of Art.  Under the direction of Francis Newbery, the School had become the centre of a new distinctly Scottish form of the "Art Nouveau" movement - which became known across Europe as "the Glasgow style".  Newbery noted and encouraged her remarkably original and imaginative talent in illustration and commissioned design work from her from the School itself.

 

Around 1903 Jessie M King first visited Kirkcudbright.  The town was already known for its community of artists, centred around the "Glasgow Boy" painter E A Hornel.  On his advice, in 1908 Jessie purchased an eighteenth century house on the High Street which she later called "Greengate".

 

In 1908, her fiancee, Ernest Taylor chose to settle permanently in Salford, where he worked as chief designer for a furniture manufacturer.  The couple were married, and in August the following year their only child, Merle was born.  In 1908, Taylor accepted an invitation to take a teaching post at a new art school in Paris.  After a year, the Taylors opened their own art school in Montmatre, which they called "The Sheiling Atelier".

 

When War was declared in August 1914, the Taylors were unable to continue teaching in Paris.  Returning to Kirkcudbright in August 1915, they carried on with the Summer Schools.  After the war, they decided against re-starting their art school in Paris.  Back in Kirkcudbright, Jessie's book illustration work began to revive.  She also began to work on "Batik" fabric design.  In 1924 she wrote and illustrated a book about the technique, called "How Cinderella was able to go to the Ball".

 

Ceramic decoration was another new line of work.  Her main outlet for decorated pottery was the Paul Jones Tea Room in Kirkcudbright.  Here, in 1932, as a favour to the owner, Jessie had re-modelled the interior and exterior on a pirate theme.

 

The Taylors had become key members of Kirkcudbright's artistic community.  Through their teaching and wide circle of acquaintances, many artists were drawn to visit the town.  Both commission work and teaching was interrupted by the Second World War, and Jessie's last commission for a cover design came in 1949, and was for a book titled "The Parish of New Kilpatrick" - the same Bearsden parish were she had grown up.  At the end of July of that year, she suffered a heart attack, and on August 3rd she died.

Entrance to Broughton House, Kirkcudbright

Entrance to Broughton House, Kirkcudbright

Castle Gardens, Kirkcudbright

Castle Gardens, Kirkcudbright