ARTIST PROFILE - ROBERT KING
Robert King graduated from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a student of John Van Koert. For two years he worked in Van Koert's commercial design studio, making silver jewelry and small novelties using the lost wax method.
After the war he entered the School for American Craftsmen in Alfred, New York, studying enameling and metalwork. Among the faculty there were Mitzi Otten, Lauritz Christian Eichner and John Prip. He received his M.A. and began working for Towle Silversmiths in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
A consummate craftsman, King himself made the models for Contour flatware and after the holloware.
Independent of Towle, he worked in silver and enamel and, during the 1950s, received competition awards for pieces included in such exhibitions as "Designer-Craftsmen U.S.A. 1953," the "Wichita Decorative Arts Annual" in 1954, and "Fiber, Clay, Metal" in 1957 and 1958.
His handmade work was exhibited in the American Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958.
After 13 years with the company, King left Towle in 1962 to become a staff designer at International Silver Company in Meriden, Connecticut.
For International's Moon Room exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair, King designed the unique Celestial Centerpiece, candelabra, and candlesticks, and his earlier carafe was also displayed.
King's work appeared in the prestigious traveling exhibitions "Objects USA," in 1970, and "Forms in Metal: 275 years of Metalsmithing in America," in 1975. He was in the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition "Design Since 1945."
His work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, Yale University Art Gallery, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rochester Art Museum and the Minneapolis Museum of American Art.
Robert also took up pottery and watercolor in the '70s. He is a lifetime member of Wesleyan Potters and is represented in many private collections. At 88 he still actively continues to create. He has three grown children and four grandchildren and has passed on his love of art and design to them.
His work is on exhibit through Jan. 22, 2006, in "Modernism in American Silver: 20th-Century Design," at the Renwick in Washington, D.C. The show and its accompanying book is the work of Jewel Stern, an independent scholar and collector of American silver.
That exhibition will also be seen at:
ROBERT J. KING
University of Wisconsin - B.S. 1941
Designer, Towle Silversmiths, Newburyport, MA 1949-1962
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