Sidney E. King Paintings

Dublin Core


Sidney E. King Paintings


King, Sidney E. (Sidney Eugene), 1906-2002
Pocahontas, -1617
Yorktown (Va.)--Pictorial works.
Jamestown (Va.)--Pictorial works.
Williamsburg (Va.) - Pictorial works


A set of four paintings, oil on board, created by artist Sidney E. King to illustrate important events in Virginia history, including the arrival of the first Africans in 1619, the Yorktown Tea Party, the marriage of Pocahontas and John Rolfe in 1614, and a militia muster at the Capitol, Williamsburg, Virginia..

A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, Sidney Eugene King studied painting at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where his instructors included John Singer Sargent. He completed further studies at the Massachusetts Normal School of Practical Art, the Vesper George School of Art, and the Scott Carvey School of Art. He launched his career in Boston and operated a studio where he completed various commercial art commissions. With the advent of the Great Depression, King embarked upon a year and a half automobile journey around the United States to record in paint aspects of the landscape and culture of various regions. His travels brought him to Fredericksburg, Virginia and he settled there in the 1930s to become a partner in a sign painting business. This brought him into contact with the National Park Service, who hired him to create signage for several battlefields.

After serving as a military artist during World War II at Quantico Marine base, King returned to working on commissions for the National Park Service that included signs and panoramas for outdoor interpretive displays. In the mid-1950s, the Park Service selected King to paint a series of murals to be displayed on a driving loop on Jamestown Island in anticipation of the 350th anniversary of the settlement at Jamestown. King consulted closely with archaeologists, curators, historians, and architectural historians to ensure that the details of his murals would be historically accurate. He also visited many libraries and historic sites to conduct research and examine artifacts in an effort to closely replicate the details of seventeenth-century life and culture. After the 350th anniversary project, King worked on hundreds of murals for national parks, historic sites, and museums up and down the East Coast.



Rights Holder

Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Collection Items

1970-534-2 w.jpg

King, Sidney E. 1957

King, Sidney E. Circa 1956
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