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James Allen King family archive

Identifier: 2015-39

Scope and Contents

The James Allen King family archive consists primarily of photographs, correspondence, clippings and pencil renderings related to King’s artistic works.

The archives consist of photographs of the pencil renderings for the State House dome, newspaper article clippings related to the James A. King Remembrance Day (March 26, 1988), the family’s copy of Governor DiPrete’s Proclamation and a photograph of a pencil rendering for the University of Rhode Island seal. Also included are a photograph of a pencil rendering for the Rhode Island Council of Defense, photographs of the state house dome mural, a copy of the Rhode Island Highway Map illustration completed by King, the Town of Scituate’s Commendation to James Allen King. In addition the archive contains correspondence between the Secretary of State’s office and Marion King Wieselquist daughter of James A. King in regards to the James A. King Tribute as well as the program and script from the Tribute event.


  • c. 1940-1988

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the researcher's responsibility to determine copyright for these materials. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Biographical / Historical

James A. King was born in Scituate, Rhode Island on March 25, 1905. His education mainly consisted of public schooling. He was awarded a scholarship to the Rhode Island School of Design but his skills were already so advanced that they sent him home on his first day. He was a self-taught draftsman, artist and woodcarver. His early childhood hours were devoted to sketching.

During his early years, he worked in the mills of Scituate and was later employed as an "axe-man" for the Providence Water Supply Board during the construction of the Scituate Reservoir. Upon completion of the reservoir, he transferred to the Rhode Island Department of Public Works, Division of Roads & Bridges as a Draftsman. While working for the State he designed many of the States map covers and town boundary markers. He freelanced for the Providence Lithograph Company depicting biblical events for their Church and Sunday School series. On occasion, he did portraits for campaign posters.

In 1945, Mr. King was chosen to design the mural for the interior of the State House Dome. His larger than life charcoal sketches of Roger Williams and the Indians of Rhode Island are great examples of his talent and ability, especially with the foreshortening of the figures in the curves of the dome without distortion. The mural, in the interior of the dome, depicts four scenes: Roger Williams receiving a land grant from Canonicus and Miantonomi, freedom of religion, the beginning of industry in the state and the origin of construction. Giorgio deFelice, executed the mural designed by King. A great disappointment for Mr. King was not being able to carry out the final work on the dome due to health reasons.

James King exhibited at the Providence Art Club and with the South County Art Association. Like his father, James King sold his woodcarvings through Crossroads of Sports in New York.


.14 Cubic Feet (7 folders)


The James Allen King family archive consists primarily of photographs, correspondence, clippings and pencil renderings related to King’s artistic works.


By form of material

Rhode Island Digital Archives

Custodial History

All items in the archive were created and kept by members of the King family and were gifted to the Rhode Island State Archives by Louise Bello (James A. King’s granddaughter) on July 23, 2015.


No accruals are anticipated at this time.

Related Materials

Extract From Annual Report of the State House Commission, 1920

State Buildings plans and blueprints, 1895-1936

State House Commission records, 1890-1935

State House Tours

Download Self-Guided State House Tour Brochure

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA