November 10, 1909|
Providence, Rhode Island
|Died||February 20, 1975
Rhode Island School of Design
Fogg Art Museum
|Occupation||Cartographer, Artist, Curator, Museum Director|
|Employer||Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island
Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska
Texas Tech Museum in Lubbock, Texas
|Known for||landscape paintings, public murals|
Kingman was born in 1909 in Providence, Rhode Island. He studied extensively at the Rhode Island School of Design (with John Frazier, Frederic Sisson and Nancy Jones) during high school, and for a year after high school, Kingman studied at the Fogg Art Museum with Edward Forbes and Paul Sachs. The entirety of his formal higher education was spent at Yale University, where he obtained both a BA and an MFA, and contributed cartoons to campus humor magazine The Yale Record.
Early in his career (he was in his third year at Yale), he was commissioned by Horace M. Albright to paint seven paintings of park scenes at Sequoia, Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Crater Lake.
In 1946, The New York Times commissioned Kingman to paint a mural for their newly renovated lobby at 229 West 43rd Street in New York City. He settled on an image of the earth as if the observer was suspended over Newfoundland. Above the horizon was the line from a Sarah Chauncey Woolsey poem, "Every day is a fresh beginning - every morn is the world made new". The mural spent four decades in the lobby and was then moved to storage. On June 16, 2016, the recently restored mural was installed in the lobby of the W. Dale Clark Library in Omaha, Nebraska, the city where the mural was started, in the basement of the Joslyn Art Museum there.
Among other projects, he received Federal Art Project commissions to paint murals in US Post Offices. In Hyattsville, Maryland his single mural was untitled, in Kemmerer, Wyoming he painted a 3 panel set with various titles in 1938, and in 1939 in East Providence, Rhode Island he completed an oil on wall 5 panel with various titles.
Kingman taught at Rhode Island School of Design for three years, soon after which he joined the OSS as a cartographer.
After World War II, Kingman became director of the Joslyn Art Museum. In addition, he acted as consultant to the Smithsonian Institution, and to the U.S. Corps of Engineers for their exhibit of the Missouri River Powerhouse.
He died in 1975.
From an early age, Eugene Kingman painted landscapes. He worked in a high contrast manner, putting highlights and shade next to each other with little blending. This could have either been a result of, or the reason for, using acrylic paint, which dries quite quickly. The high contrast creates quite a dramatic rendering, which is reinforced by the use of intense, saturated colors. The surface of the canvases are rough with the marks of Kingman's paint application, most likely with a palette knife. The lighting in Kingman's scenes feels quite harsh, due in part to the use of unmodified whites and yellows as highlights, and also because of the sharp juxtaposition of highlights and shadows.
- Kingman, Eugene (March 25, 1931). "The Old Order Changeth" (Cartoon). The Yale Record. New Haven: Yale Record.
- "Throwback Thursday, 1946, Painted in Omaha; Now Back Home" (PDF). The New York Times Newspaper. The New York Times Newspaper, New York City, USA. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- "Eugene Kingman". eugenekingman.com. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- "New home for old view of world;It spent four decades at New York Times, a few more in storge" (Sunrise Edition). The Omaha-World Herald Newspaper, Omaha, Douglas County, NE, USA. June 17, 2016.
- "Joslyn Castle Trust Press Release, Omaha, Douglas County, NE, USA" (PDF). Eugene Kingman. eugenekingman.com. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
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