Richard King (1907 - 1974)
Richard King, who died in 1974, is remembered as one of Mayo’s most distinguished artists. His father was an R.I.C. Sergeant stationed in Castlebar prior to the War of Independence. The King family lived at Lower Charles Street, beside Barrack Bridge, in the house now occupied by Mr. John Garvey.
Richard and his brother, John, attended the local St. Patrick’s National School until Sgt. King was transferred to Carracastle and later to Westport where the family resided for many years. Richard had always displayed artistic talent and, fortuitously, in Westport received private tuition from a retired artist who lived in Rosbeg. Here he learned the essentials of an artist’s work: perspective and colour harmonising, balance and recession in landscape, painting, colour and mixing.
Eventually the family went to Dublin where Richard was a student in the College of Art. The principal of the college was approached by Harry Clarke of the Stained-Glass Studios to recommend his most promising pupil to train as a designer. Richard was selected and thus his career as a Stained-Glass artist began. He was an apt pupil and soon designed all the work produced by this famous studio. On the death of Harry Clarke, Richie managed the studios for some years and later opened his own studio in Dalkey.
Among his early commissions was the Kevin Barry Memorial Window in University College Dublin. He illustrated the prestigious ‘Capuchin Annual’ for 30 years and this annual also contained full-page illustrations in colour of the 15 mysteries of the rosary.
Richard died in 1974 and the following year a 44 page tribute to his memory contained many illustrations, tributes and a comprehensive list of his works. As stated in the appreciation his magnum opus was a wall of Stained-Glass, 86’ x 14’ high for the St. Thomas Moore Chapel of the University of Western Australia.
Richard’s widow, Alison, who was his great supporter, died in 1981. Richard had three sons, Kenneth, David and Richard, all of whom became artists.
He designed 12 postage stamps as follows: Holy Year 1933; Constitution 1937; St. Patrick 1937; Davitt and Parnell 1946; Four Air Mail Issues 1948/’49; G.A.A. 1934; Four Masters 1944; Thomas Davis 1945; James Clarence Morgan 1949.
Richard King’s brilliant and distinguished career spanned the period from 1929 to 1974. Incidentally his son, Richard, helped to design the interior of St. Aloysuis Church, Breaffy, Castlebar.
Taken from the Castlebar Parish Magazine 1982
Ivor Hamrock, Local History Department, Castlebar Central Library, John Moore Rd, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.Email: email@example.com Phone: +353 (0)94 9047953