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Thomas King

 (1876 - 1933)
Thomas Ewing King was active/lived in New York, California.  Thomas King is known for architectural, old houses and marine drawing and painting.

Thomas King

Biography from the Archives of askART

Thomas Ewing King   (1876-1933)

King was an accurate observer, as demanded by his profession (architectural delineator), but he also had an uncanny ability to sense the architect's intentions, and to bring them to life with movement and light.

Thomas King studied drawing in high school with George S. Mills, architect for many Toledo landmarks.  Mr. Mills encouraged King to study at the Art Students League in New York, where his instructors included Daniel Chester French and the mural decorator, Kenyon Cox.

King then spent about three years with the Mills, Rhines, Bellman, and Nordhoff firm in Toledo, and again under Mills' urging, took a two year architectural course at the University of Pennsylvania.  He then entered the prestigious firm of Hunt and Hunt, where he was associated with noted master draftsmen.  Then came three years with another equally famous firm, McKim, Mead, and White.  When their chief delineator retired, an office competition was held to find a successor, and King's rendering won him the honor.

Following the urge to "go west," he migrated to California.  But times were lean then, and he had little success.  He returned to New York as an associate of the firm of Carrere and Hasting.  In 1915, he was back in Toledo, where he remained until his death except for an interval in Detroit with Smith, Hinchman, and Frylis.

King died in La Jolla, California at the home of his brother Edmund, where he went when his health failed.  His ashes were returned to Toledo.  Mr. John N. Richards, a former associate in the architectural firm of Mills, Rhines, Ballman, and Nordhoff, remembers him as a quiet, kindly bachelor, who lived alone on Scottwood Avenue, and had few intimate friends.  He was a chain smoker, who paced up and down as he was collecting his thoughts and then set them down with amazing speed. "He could finish a drawing in a few hours. He had a great gift for handling perspective, and could make everything fall into place without the usual preliminary preparations.  He also had a feeling for composition, placing his forms to set up a path of movement, and alternating darks and lights to keep the eye moving."

Although King never went to Europe, he enjoyed his travels to Provincetown, Mass., where he sketched old houses and the boats. Despite the free and spontaneous handling of the ship's gear, it was accurate enough to satisfy the most exacting sailor. This was also true of his architectural drawings, where vagueness of detail was based upon solid knowledge of reality.

King worked din pencil, charcoal, watercolor, and gouache with equal facility and, in addition to drawing buildings, he also designed architectural decorations, letterheads with small sketches, and bookplates.

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher and Collector, Greenville, Michigan

 "Thomas Ewing King's Toledo," Louise Bruner, The Toledo Blade, Sunday Magazine, July 27, 1975.  Provided by Local History and Genealogy Department, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in Toledo, Ohio on May 27, 1876, Thomas King came to San Diego about 1928 to visit his brother, Edmond, the husband of U. S. Grant's granddaughter.  He remained there until his demise on Nov. 12, 1933. 

His work includes oils and pastels of the coast at La Jolla. 

Edan Hughes, author of the book "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Death Record

Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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About  Thomas King

Born:  1876 - Toledo, Ohio
Died:   1933 - La Jolla, California
Known for:  architectural, old houses and marine drawing and painting