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 Eugene Kingman  (1909 - 1975)

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma/Rhode Island      Known for: landscape, genre, graphics, mural

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Eugene Kingman (1909-1975)

He is noted for his landscape paintings that often featured high contrasts of intense colors and highlights and shade.  Kingman was born in 1909 in Providence, Rhode Island.

He studied extensively at the Rhode Island School of Design (with John Frazier, Frederic Sisson, and Nancy Jones) during high school, and for a year after high school, Kingman studied at the Fogg Art Museum with Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs. The entirety of his formal higher education was spent at Yale, where he obtained both a BA and an MFA.  "At Yale, Richard Kingman was a prolific contributor of illustrations and cartoons for The Yale Record, the undergraduate humor magazine, for which he served as Art Editor in 1932." (Donald Watson, archivist. The Yale Record Magazine).  In his third year, he was commissioned by Horace M. Albright to paint seven paintings of park scenes at Sequoia, Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Crater Lake.

Among other projects, he received commissions to paint murals in US Post Offices in Hayattsville, Maryland, Kemmerer, Wyoming, and East Providence, Rhode Island.  Kingman taught at Rhode Island School of design for three years, and when World War II began he joined the OSS as a cartographer.  After the war, Kingman became director of Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.  In addition, he acted as consultant to the Smithsonian, and to the US Corps of Engineers for their exhibit of the Missouri River Powerhouse.

From an early age on, Eugene Kingman painted landscapes.  He worked in a high contrast manner, putting highlights and shade next to each other with little blending.  This could have either been a result of, or the reason for, using acrylic paint, which dries quite quickly.  The high contrast creates quite a dramatic rendering, which is reinforced by the use of intense, saturated colors. The surface of his canvases are rough with the marks of Kingman's paint application, most likely with a palate knife.  This is especially apparent in Palo Verde Diversion Dam.  The lighting in Kingman's scenes feels quite harsh, due in part to the use of unmodified whites and yellows as highlights, and also because of the sharp juxtaposition of highlights and shadows.

He died in 1975.

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