Artist: Ernest Archibald Taylor

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:

Moved to Kirkcudbright in 1915 and settled at the Greengate with his wife Jessie M King


Glasgow School of Art

Exhibited At:

Royal Scottish Academy; Royal scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours; Aberdeen Artists’ Society; Liverpool


Founded Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Society with Jessie M King, Chris J Fergusson, Charles Oppenheimer, E A Hornel and R D Cairns


E A Taylor, Anniversary Exhibition Tolbooth Art Centre, Kirkcudbright, 2001 (exhibition catalogue in Stewartry Museum file). Kirkcudbright: one hundred years of an artists’ colony, Patrick Bourne, Atelier Books, Edinburgh, 2000. Tales of the Kirkcudbright Artists, Haig Gordon, Kirkcudbright, 2006

Image of the artist, Stewartry Museum


Multi talented artist and designer, painting, etching, designing furniture, interiors and stained glass. Attracted many of his huge circle of artistic friends to Kirkcudbright. Joined Wylie and Lochhead as trainee designer, 1893. Lectured in furniture design at Glasgow School of Art 1903-1905. Went to Paris, 1911, where he ran Sheiling Atelier with his wife, Jessie M King, whom he had married in 1908. Portrait of Taylor by W Somerville Shanks was exhibited at Royal Scottish Academy, 1929. His oil painting Near Kirkcudbright sold at Bonhams Scottish sale 29/08/2008, lot1098 for £2400.

E A Taylor was born in Greenock in 1874, the fifteenth of seventeen children of an army major. He first met the illustrator Jessie M King in 1897, when he moved into an adjacent flat in St Vincent Street, Glasgow. Taylor had just taken up a post with Wylie and Lochhead, where he became a leading designer of furniture and stained glass in the Glasgow style.

In 1907 Taylor became head of furniture design with Wragge and Co. in Salford and married Jessie M King the following year. In 1910 they moved to Paris where Taylor became second in command of Tudor Hart’s ‘Paris School of Drawing and Painting’. However, before long they established their own school ‘The Shealing Atelier’ and also began a summer school on Arran, which they continued to run till 1940. At this time Taylor became Paris correspondent for The Studio and got to know many of the leading French and visiting artists including the Scottish colourists Peploe and Fergusson.

Jessie M King had bought The Greengate in Kirkcudbright the year before her marriage and it was to Kirkcudbright that she and E A Taylor returned shortly after the outset of the First World War. The cottages down the Greengate Close were converted to artists’ studios and many of the talented young artists of the day such as Dorothy Johnstone and Cecile Walton came here to paint as well as established figures such as S J Peploe, who was warm in his appreciation of the Taylor’s hospitality.

While E A Taylor was no longer at the forefront of Scottish art he had a prodigious output of work, particularly water colours of local scenes, some of which he reproduced as etchings. He continued as correspondent for The Studio. He helped to found the Dumfries and Galloway Fine Art Association and was in demand as a speaker on art and also, on the work of Robert Burns. With his death in 1951 an important chapter in the cultural life of Kirkcudbright came to a close.

Works by E A Taylor and other members of the Kirkcudbright artists colony were on display at the Harbour Cottage Gallery, Kirkcudbright, to mark the 50th anniversary of the gallery, 1st to 15th September 2007.