Jessie Marion King was born in the Glasgow suburb of New Kilpatrick and showed a natural talent for drawing at an early age.

In 1892 she enrolled at Glasgow School of Art, where she acquired skills in fine and applied art, as well immersing herself in the lessons of the Art Nouveau style.

These four drawings date from the early period in King’s career, when she was both teaching and working as a book illustrator. The Wild Rose and Whin Blossom (c1907) are illustrations for the book Budding Life, a collection of drawings of flowers in a Japanese style. The Cloak of Friendship illustrates the influence of the medieval revival as well as of Art Nouveau on King’s work. Heritage of Heroic Example is a unique piece that may have been made as a memorial to a soldier killed at Ypres in 1915.

In 1908 King bought a house in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway, a town already known for its community of artists. After a time spent living in Paris, King and her husband, Ernest Taylor, settled in the town and she continued to work there on illustrations, as well as designs for fabrics, jewellery and ceramics, until her death in 1949.

These four exquisite drawings now join the collection of more than 600 works at Kirkcudbright Galleries, a new museum dedicated to the town’s history as an artists’ colony.


Purchased in the early 1900s by Professor and Mrs Archibald Barr of Glasgow, thought to be directly from the artist. Passed by descent to the current owners, Mr and Mrs Barr.

Exhibitions at Kirkcudbright Galleries

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