John Lockwood Kipling

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John Lockwood Kipling
Portrait of John Lockwood Kipling, by Hollinger.
Portrait of John Lockwood Kipling, by Hollinger.
Born(1837-07-06)6 July 1837
Pickering, North Yorkshire, England
Died26 January 1911(1911-01-26) (aged 73)
Tisbury, Wiltshire, England
OccupationArt teacher, illustrator, museum curator
(m. 1865)
ChildrenRudyard Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling, c.1890

John Lockwood Kipling CIE (6 July 1837 – 26 January 1911) was an English art teacher, illustrator and museum curator who spent most of his career in India. He was the father of the author Rudyard Kipling.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Lockwood Kipling was born in Pickering, North Riding, the son of Reverend Joseph Kipling and Frances nee Lockwood,[2] and was educated at Woodhouse Grove School, a Methodist boarding school. He met his wife Alice MacDonald while working in Burslem, Staffordshire, where his designs can still be seen on the façade of the Wedgwood Institute.[3]

John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling in India during 1870

Alice was the daughter of a Methodist minister, the Reverend George Browne Macdonald. Kipling married during 1865 and relocated with his wife to India, where he had been appointed as a professor of architectural sculpture in the Jeejeebhoy School of Art in Bombay (now Mumbai), and later became its principal.[3]

Their son was born soon after, in December 1865, and was christened Rudyard after Rudyard, Staffordshire, the place where his parents had first met;[3] their daughter Alice [4] also known as Beatrice Kipling [5] was born in 1868. His life-long friend John Griffiths, whom he had met whilst working together at the South Kensington Museum and worked with him at the Bombay School of Art, became Rudyard's godfather.[6] During 1870–1872 Kipling was commissioned by the government to tour the Punjab, North-West Frontier and Kashmir and make a series of sketches of Indian craftsmen as well as various sights and antiquities in these regions.[7][8][9] Several of these sketches are presently at the Victoria and Albert Museum whilst others were printed in a number of books.[3]

During 1875, Kipling was appointed the Principal of Mayo School of Arts, Lahore, British India (present day National College of Arts, Pakistan) and also became curator of the old original Lahore Museum which figured as the Wonder House or Ajaib Ghar in Kim,[10] not to be confused with the present one.[11] He retired back to England in 1893.

Kipling illustrated many of Rudyard Kipling's books, and other works, including Tales of the Punjab by Flora Annie Steel. He also worked on the decorations for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and friezes on the Crawford Market in Bombay. The friezes of the Crawford Market are done in a Romano-Gothic style. The west entrance displays trader and sack-scales with porter, planter and water carrier around a well-head, while the east features several bullock carts.[12] John Kipling designed the uniforms and decorations for the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi during 1877, organised by the Viceroy of India, Lord Lytton, at which Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

During his tenure as the Principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, he patronised indigenous artisans and by training and apprenticeship transformed them into craftsmen and designers. One of his protégés was Bhai Ram Singh, who assisted him in his imperial commission for decorating the Durbar Room at Osborne House. Kipling also remained editor of the Journal of Indian Art and Industry, which published drawings made by the students of the Mayo School.

He died in 1911, and is buried in Tisbury, Wiltshire parish church.[13]

During 2017 the Bard Graduate Center had an exhibition of his work: John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London.[1]

Main published works[edit]

  • Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals in Their Relations with the People, Published by Macmillan and Co, London, 1891.
  • Inezilla: A Romance in Two Chapters, by J.L.K. Reprinted from The Chameleon, Allahabad, [1873].
  • Across the Border: Or, Pathân and Biloch, by Edward Emmerson Oliver, Illustrations by John Lockwood Kipling. Published by Chapman and Hall, 1890.
  • Tales of the Punjab Told by the People, by Flora Annie Webster Steel, Richard Carnac Temple, John Lockwood Kipling. Published by Macmillan and co., 1894.
  • The Two Jungle Books, by Rudyard Kipling. Illustrations by J. Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E., and W. H. Drake. Published by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., New York, 1893.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E. New York Times, 24 January 1892.
  2. ^ Carrington, Charles (1986). "1: Kiplings and Macdonalds". Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Work. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 31–32. ISBN 014058028X.
  3. ^ a b c d Drawing by John Lockwood Kipling, and Biography Archived 21 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Victoria & Albert Museum.
  4. ^ "The Kiplings and India: Alice MacDonald Fleming (Beatrice [Trix] Kipling)".
  5. ^ "Rudyard Kipling". 6 August 2021.
  6. ^ "A Study of a Head of a Koonbie | Griffiths, John | V&A Explore the Collections".
  7. ^ "Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts of Punjab and London". The Heritage Lab. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Book Illustration by John Lockwood Kipling". Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London – Exhibition at V&A Museum". Owlcation. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  10. ^ Tarin, O, in 'The Kipling Journal', June 2008, pp 10–21
  11. ^ For details see Peter Hopkirk, Quest for Kim:In Search of Kipling's Great Game London: J Murray, 1996
  12. ^ Steggles, Mary Ann; Barnes, Richard (2011). British Sculpture in India: New Views and Old Memories. Norfolk: Frontier. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-872914-41-1.
  13. ^ Papers of John Lockwood Kipling University of Sussex.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Pater: John Lockwood Kipling His Life and Times 1837–1911, by Arthur R Ankers, ISBN 1-871044-00-6
  • The Kipling Papers: A List of Papers of John Lockwood Kipling 1837–1911, Joseph Rudyard Kipling 1865–1936, and of Some Papers of Josephine, Elsie and John Kipling from Wimpole Hall, Cambridge. by University of Sussex Library. Manuscripts Section, Rudyard Kipling. Published by University of Sussex Library, 1980. ISBN 0-85087-014-3.
  • Official Chronicle of the Mayo School of Art: The formative years under Lockwood Kipling. (1875 to 1893), Researched and Introduced by Nadeem Omar Tarar. Samina Choonara (editor). National College of Arts, Lahore, 2003, ISBN 969-8623-00-0

External links[edit]