Kingsley Dawson Brock Biography

Kingsley Dawson Brock




Kingsley (King) Dawson Brock was born in Pasadena, California on February 3, 1912, attending the Grover Cleveland Elementary School and the John Muir Technical High School. Brock attended Pasadena Junior College and the Stickney Art School in Pasadena. Brock was the first African-American artist to have a one-man exhibition at Pasadena Jr. College, May of 1935. Brock was a WPA artist in Southern California and was an illustrator for the Fort MacArthur Newspaper in San Pedro, California during WWII.

From 1952-1958 and 1967, King Brock was a featured artist in the Women's Sunday Morning Breakfast Club’s Cinderella International Souvenir Book. The WSMBC, an organization founded by Theresa Lindsay, the wife of Councilman Gilbert Lindsay sought to help the poor, educate the youth, honor the aged, and contribute to the agencies that helped the disenfranchised. Many of Brock's drawings were seen as a result of the WSMBC's support, and a series of paintings entitled the "New Breed" received critical acclaim after gracing the cover of the group's annual commemorative book.

A member of the Pasadena Artist Associates, inc. for more than 45 years, King Bock was also involved in the first Rose Bowl art exhibit in 1971 and featured in Ebony and Jet magazines for his expressive work.

Of all the things that King Brock created in his years, he was most proud of his portrait of Martin Luther King, commissioned by Dr. Leroy Weekes and Dr. H.C. Hudson, titled "His Dream" because he felt that it captured the essence of Dr. King's message African-Americans in this country. The painting featured a picture of the slain civil rights leader in the foreground and a number of faces in the background, which were symbols of a new generation. This new generation, according to King Brock, was painted to express his hope for a society that was open to freedom of creative expression without the infringement of racism and injustice.

Kingsley (King) Brock died in Pasadena, California on June 29, 1995.