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 Helen King Boyer  (1919 - 2012)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/Maryland/Missouri/New York/Kansas      Known for: wig and toy designer, printmaking

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is an obituary of the artist.

Helen King Boyer, 92, passed peacefully away on August 6, 2012, while living at the Glennon Place Nursing Center, in Northeast Kansas City, MO. Helen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania December 16, 1919, the daughter of Ernest Wilson and Louise Miller Boyer.

She was bedridden during the first ten years of her life due to a failure of her lymphatic system at age four. During this period her father read to her literary classics and she also entertained herself with coloring books, creating paper cut-outs and browsing through dance magazines. She studied art at the University of Pittsburgh and at Carnegie Technical Institute.

Her professional career as artist and printmaker led her to work as wig designer for the American Character Doll in New York City, needlework designer for Reader Mail Co. in New York and plush toy designer for MyToy Co., Brooklyn, and plush and rag toy designer for A&L Novelty, Queens, New York.

In 1960 she moved to Kansas City where she designed plush toys for Columbia Toy Co., Gene Toys of St. Louis, Beloved Toy Co. and finally, Superior Toy and Novelty Co., where she retired in 1981. She and her mother also continued with printmaking out of their home, teaching others the process.

Most recently April-August, 2012, an exhibition of prints by Helen and her mother has hung in the Lauinger Library Art Gallery at Georgetown University, where Helen donated her family’s works and diaries during the late 1980’s.

Related to the exhibit she and her mother were the subjects of a Georgetown senior art student’s thesis, “The Boyer Family: Mother-Daughter, Innovative Printmakers.”

Her parents and her brother, Taylor M. “Bipps” Boyer, preceded her in death. Surviving are a nephew, Steve Boyer, Seattle, WA a niece, Kathryn Gay of Lexington, Mich., and a host of friends. She was loved by all who met her. She requested no services to be held. Her ashes will be spread over the Rose Garden at Unity Village.

Submitted by Anthony R. White

Source:
"Helen King Boyer", Charter Funerals, www.charterfunerals.com/obituary/brch/2012/08/06/Helen+King+Boyer


Biography from Union Station Kansas City/Kansas City Museum:
Helen King Boyer was born December 16, 1910 in Pittsburgh, to artist Louise Rive King Boyer and architect Ernest Wilson Boyer. She moved to New York City in 1948, where she held a Louis Comfort Tiffany Grant for a year.

She spent five years learning a silk-painting process developed by French chemist Penoir, and then worked as a painter for his daughter, Rosalyn Penoir. Boyer also painted original ties and yard goods for Lord & Taylor, along with her original paintings.

In 1960, she and her mother Louise moved to Kansas City, MO, where Helen became an artist and designer for the Superior Toy & Novelty Company. Helen King Boyer also spent several years doing landscaping/garden design for the grounds of Corinthian Hall, home of the Kansas City Museum.

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