William Gunning King Biography

William Gunning King





Painter, etcher, and illustrator William Gunning King was born in South Kensington, England, on December 2, 1859. He studied painting and printmaking at South Kensington and at the Royal Academy Schools, and took employment as an illustrator and cartoonist while pursuing fine art. His illustrations and cartoons appeared in Cassell's, Illustrated London News, Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, Pick-Me-Up, Quiver and The Sketch. For many years he was amongst the best Punch cartoonists where he worked between 1905-16 much in the manner of Charles Keene. He was known for his oil depictions of rural English life, while in printmaking he often expanded work to include nautical and mechanical themes, as well as the satirical work he contributed to various publications.  

King exhibited regularly in London at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, New Gallery, New English Art Club, Grosevnor Gallery and Society of British Artists. He also exhibited at the Beaux-Arts Gallery, Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, Manchester City Art Gallery and Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. His illustrated work appeared in Punch and the Windsor Magazine. In 1887, he was elected a member of the New English Art Club. There are nearly 700 examples of his works in the collection of the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, East Sussex.

The Universtiy of Glasgow raisonné website for the prints of James Abbott McNeill Whistler notes: "In 1889 King was amongst those proposed guests to a dinner organised by W. C. Symons to congratulate JW (James Whistler) on becoming an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Munich, a dinner which was to be held at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May".

William Gunning King died on October 10, 1940 South Harting, Hampshire, England.


Information partially gathered on the Whistler Arts website of the University of Glasgow.