Jessie M. King

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Jessie M. King
Dancing Woman and Boy Playing a Pipe
ca. 1899-1910
Pen and black ink, watercolor, with gold, silver, and copper, on parchment.
10 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches (26.7 x 45.7 cm)
Gift of Mr. Frederick R. Koch.

King was a successful artist and designer associated with the Glasgow Style (ca. 1895-1920), an Art Nouveau variant that developed in Scotland and spread across Europe. Unusual for the time, women studied side-by-side with men at the Glasgow School of Art, an incubator of the Glasgow Style. A group of these women, King included, is referred to as the Glasgow Girls. Over the course of her long career, King created jewelry, ceramics, interiors, textiles, book designs, illustrations, and "fantasy" drawings in pen, ink, and watercolor. King claimed to have a special connection with fairies, who she believed had chosen her to communicate their world to others. She stressed the role of her "inner eye" in developing her subject matter. To produce a delicate "fantasy" drawing such as this one, she used a nib pen and ink on vellum, a support more frequently associated with medieval illuminated manuscripts than with twentieth century drawing. The halo of flowers that floats near the woman's head is typical of King.


Signed at lower right, in pen and black ink, "JESSIE M. KING".

Sale, Scone Palace, Perthshire, Sotheby's, 13 April 1981, lot 132, repr.; Frederick R. Koch.
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