Skip to main content

Richard J. King collection

Collection MS-2006-004: Richard J. King collection


  • Creation: 1933-approximately 1952
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1934 - 1949

Scope and Contents

The Richard J. King collection consists of reprints and proofs of a range of artwork, mostly created as article illustrations for The Capuchin Annual between 1940 and 1949. The artwork includes both religious and secular themes. The religious artwork comprises the Stations of the Cross, the Catholic Saints, and the Sacred Mysteries. The collection also includes a large sample of printed Christmas cards designed by King, as well as a small number of proofs and prints from the Irish postal stamps King designed. In addition to his works on paper, the collection contains copper printing plates for one of his images, and color photographs of the his stained glass windows in the James Jeffrey Roche Room of the Bapst Library at Boston College. Two of King's paintings are also part of this collection.


Language of Materials

English and Irish.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Richard J. King was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1907. King was educated by the Christian Brothers and then at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin, now the National College of Art and Design. After his education, King became the chief designer in the studio of Harry Clarke, one of Ireland’s best-known stained glass artists.

Developing his artistic skills in many different mediums, King was named the staff artist for The Capuchin Annual where he published many paintings; pen and ink designs; and illustrations for articles. In 1943, The Capuchin Annual featured King’s work in a full-length article also displaying both color and black and white samples from the range of his work which is largely religious in nature, although his work with secular subjects is substantial. Also nationalistic in theme, a portion of King’s work ranges from portraits of various Irish saints to designs employed for a number of Irish postal stamps.

A prolific stained-glass designer, King’s art decorates the windows of many Irish churches. His work has also been exhibited in New Zealand and the United States. In 1952, a set of three windows of King’s design were permanently installed at the Boston College Library (now Bapst Library).

King died in Dublin on March 17, 1974, at the age of 64.


Richard King: The Artist and His Work, Richard King Exhibition Pamphlet, March 9, 1952, Boston College Library.

“Tributes,” The Capuchin Annual, pp. 174-195; quoted from contributor James Campbell, pp. 174-175.


.75 Linear Feet (4 containers)


This collection contains works on paper by early-twentieth-century Irish artist Richard J. King. It consists of proofs and prints of his illustrations for periodicals, Christmas cards, and Irish postage stamps, as well as photographs of his stained glass windows.


The collection is arranged in seven series: I. Illustrations, II. Proofs, III. Photographs, IV. Printing plates, V. Postage stamps, VI. Christmas cards, and VII. Paintings.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time. Correspondence on file indicates that portions were received as gifts from Richard King and the Eire Society of Boston.

Richard J. King Collection
1933-approximately 1952 (bulk 1934-1949)
David M. Tennant, 2005; and Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States