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Richard King: an Acclaimed Irish Artist

posted Oct 3, 2019, 7:32 AM by Bernard O'Hara
Richard King was an acclaimed Irish stained glass artist, illustrator and stamp designer. He was born on July 7, 1907, in Castlebar , County Mayo, where his father, John, was a constable with the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). After his father retired in 1920, the family moved to Westport until 1927 and then to Dublin. Richard was educated at the De La Salle School, Castlebar, Palmfield Primary School in Carracastle, County Mayo (where his father was stationed for three years as an RIC sergeant), and then at the Christian Brothers School in Westport. After moving to Dublin in 1926, Richard became a student at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. In 1928 he joined the renowned stained glass artist Harry Clarke at his studios in Dublin, specialising in Liturgical art. After Harry Clarke’s death in January 1931, Richard King became the chief designer in the studios, and overall manager from 1935 to 1940. There, he completed windows for St Mel’s Cathedral in and St Peter and Paul Church in Athlone.
After receiving some personal commissions, Richard King resigned from the Clarke Studios in 1940 and became self-employed, with his own studio in Dalkey, County Dublin. During the Second World War, when it was difficult to import stained glass, Richard became an illustrator, especially with The Capuchin Annual and The Father Mathew Record, from 1940 to 1972, as well as designing Irish postage stamps. He designed a total of twelve stamps, including one to commemorate the golden jubilee of the Gaelic Athletic Association in 1934, the Constitution and St Patrick in 1937, the Four Masters 1944, Thomas Davis 1945, as well as Michael Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell in 1946. He painted over sixty stained glass windows for various churches throughout Ireland, as well as places in Britain, Canada, USA and Australia. They include windows for St Jude’s Shrine, Feversham, in Kent, England and the Kevin Memorial Window for University College, Earlsford Terrace, Dublin. There are stained glass windows by Richard King in his native county, in Swinford and Westport. Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Swinford has two beautiful stained glass windows by him, a four-light one of The Assumption of Our Lady, flanked by St John the Evangelist and St Patrick, with the Holy Trinity on the rose window behind the altar (1952), and the Old and New Testament (1964, as well as Stations of the Cross by him (1953). His last stained glass the year before he died was I am the Resurrection and the Life (1973) in the north wall of the sanctuary in St Patrick’s Church, Newport,County Mayo. (Harry Clarke’s last window, The Last Judgement, is the exquisite east window in the same church.) Richard King died in Dublin on March 17, 1974.
Exploring Mayo by Bernard O’Hara is now available Worldwide as an eBook for the amazon Kindle application.
The print version of Bernard O’Hara’s book Exploring Mayo can be obtained by contacting also sell the print versions of Killasser - Heritage of a Mayo Parish , Anseo and Davitt.
Bernard O'Hara's book entitled Killasser: Heritage of a Mayo Parish is now on sale in the USA and UK as a paperback book at, or Barnes and Noble
It is also available as an eBook from the Apple iBookstore (for reading on iPad and iPhone), from and (Kindle & Kindle Fire) and from (Nook tablet and eReader).
An earlier publication, a concise biography of Michael Davitt, entitled Davitt by Bernard O’Hara published in 2006 by Mayo County Council , is now available as Davitt: Irish Patriot and Father of the Land League by Bernard O’Hara, which was published in the USA by Tudor Gate Press ( and is available from and It can be obtained as an eBook from the Apple iBookstore (for reading on iPad and iPhone), from and (Kindle & Kindle Fire) and from (Nook tablet and eReader).