She was born in Bearsden, near Glasgow.
Her father was a minister with the Church of Scotland
and she received a strict religious education and was
discouraged from becoming an artist. Jessie M. King
began training as an Art teacher in 1891 at
Queen Margaret’s College. In 1892 she entered the
Glasgow School of Art. As a student, she received a number
of awards, including her first silver medal from
the National Competition, South Kensington (1898).
King was made Tutor in Book Decoration and Design
at Glasgow School of Art in 1899. Her first published
designs, and some people believe her finest,
were for the covers of books published by Globus Verlag,
Berlin between 1899 and 1902. The publisher was
a subsidiary company of the great Berlin department store,
Wertheim's. She was influenced by the Art Nouveau
of the period and her works juxtaposed in
mood with that of The Glasgow Four.
She made a Grand Tour of Germany and Italy
in 1902 and was influenced by the works of Botticelli.
In the same year her binding for "L'Evangile de L'Enfance"
was awarded a gold medal in the International Exhibition
of Modern Decorative Art, held in Turin.
King became a committee member of the Glasgow Society
of Artists (1903) and a member of the
Glasgow Society of Lady Artists (1905).
Her contribution to Art Nouveau peaked during
her first exhibitions, Annan's Gallery in Glasgow (1907)
and Bruton Street Galleries, London (1905).
She married E. A. Taylor in 1907 and moved
with him to Salford. In 1910 they moved on to Paris
where Taylor had gained a professorship at
Tudor Hart's Studios. In 1911 King and Taylor
opened the Shearing Atelier School in Paris.
Her works in Paris are considered as influential to the
creation of the Art Deco movement. King and Taylor
moved to Kirkcudbright in 1915 and continued
to work there until her death in 1949.
.His Dream: He would bring her acorn cups
and dew drenched anemones and tiny glow worms
to be stars in the pale gold of her hair.
- The Dwarf's Dream by Jessie M. King for
The Birthday of the Infanta, by Oscar Wilde