Painter and illustrator, born at New Kilpatrick, Bearsden, Scotland. She showed a precocious ability for drawing and illustration as a child. Her parents allowed her to attend Glasgow School of Art in the 1890’s. She later taught there collaborating with her colleague Peter Davidson on many decorative designs. She worked for a variety of publishing companies including Routledge and illustrated such works as Morte d’Arthur by Tennyson and Oscar Wilde’ A House of Pomegranates. A great traveller, she shared her time between Scotland and Paris using her multi-faceted abilities to not only illustrate books but to work in batik and as a ceramic painter. Her work as an artist was recognised as early as 1898 by theStudio Magazine.
From 1902, some sources say 1899 she began to teach book cover design at Glasgow School of Art, and for one year (1907) also taught on the ceramics decoration course. About this time she started to diversify her design activities to include costumes for pageants, gesso panels, wallpapers, fabrics, posters and bookplates. She also began to design jewellery and silverware for Liberty & Co. and worked on interior design and decoration projects.
In 1908, she married Earnest Archibald Taylor, a fellow student and lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art. Soon after they relocated to Paris w and together they ran the Shealing Atelier returning to Scotland at the outbreak of World War I. They settled in the artists colony of Kirkcudbright. King’s main artistic oeuvre was books of which she illustrated more than a hundred. She exhibited with the Bruton Galleries, Glasgow Society of Women Artists, RBSA, RA and RSA and examples of her work are in museums around the world including the Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright, SNGMA, Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie, Glasgow Museums, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery in Bedford.
Jessie M. King, 1875-1949 an exhibition catalogue published by the Scottish Arts Council, 1971.
The Book of Bridges [of Paris] by Edme Arcambeau. Illustrated by Jessie M. King. Published by Gowans & Gray, London & Glasgow, 1911.
Glasgow Girls Women in Art and Design 1880 -1920 by Jude Burkhauser, published by Canongate Books Ltd, 2001. ISBN 184195151X .
The enchanted world of Jessie M. King by Colin White. Published by Canongate, Edinburgh, 1989. ISBN: 0862412358.
With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk