THE STAINED GLASS DESIGNS OF
RICHARD J. KING (1907-74)
Born in Castlebar, where his father was an RIC Sergeant, King’s family moved to Westport in 1922 and to Dublin in 1926, where King entered the Metropolitan School of Art. He had always been good with his hands, and made a violin as a young man. He studied illustration and design under Austin Molloy, a friend of the stained glass artist Harry Clarke, and on Molloy’s recommendation he went to work at the Clarke family firm in 1928. Harry Clarke died in 1931, and in 1935 King became manager of the Clarke studios. He left in 1940 to set up on his own, working both in stained glass and in graphic design. He executed a series of high-profile stamp designs for the Irish Post Office, including the GAA and the Four Masters stamp of 1944. He supplied regular colour designs to the Capuchin Annual, where he joined the staff in 1940, while continuing to work extensively in stained-glass design. His windows are in churches and public buildings throughout the world, including Boston College, Massachusetts, St Thomas More Jesuit Chapel, University of West Australia (where there are twenty-one windows, including Stations of the Cross), and St. Columba’s College, South Perth, Australia. Windows in Ireland include Walkinstown (Dublin); Nazareth Home, Malahide Rd.; Cork, Swinford, Maynooth, Kilkenny, Galway, etc., see a full listing in Snoddy’s Dictionary. See also the very rare booklet, ‘Windows Into Heaven’ by Mons. John T. McMahon of Western Australia, who commissioned important works from King.
The following drawings (Lots 567 – 573) are from the family collections, passed down by descent.
KING, Richard J. HAIL, QUEEN OF HEAVEN. Full size original coloured drawing (or cartoon) for a stained glass window, gouache on paper, SIGNED and dated 1950 in the design, approx 105 ins x 21 ins, the colouring fresh and unfaded. Lower panel shows the angel appearing to Mary. A fine example of the artist’s work. This and the following three items are the original drawings for the windows at St. Columba’s Church, South Perth, Australia. Illus. MacMahon opp. p. 31. (1)