Tom King

Tom King was born in 1925 in Philadelphia, Pa. He served during World War II in the US Air Corp. Following the war, he attended Temple University in Philadelphia and began his professional career as an illustrator for an advertising company where he designed images collectible gum cards. His career as an artist continued with freelance work as a commercial illustrator for large corporations such as AT&T, United Airlines, Chrysler Corp., and others. In 1976, he was commissioned for a poster for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey bicentennial circus poster. He also created an impressive oil on canvas of mastodons for the New Jersey State Museum’s display. Before his retirement from commercial work in 1989, King studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After retirement, he devoted himself to painting social commentary works on issues that were most important to him. He listed these issues in a personal statement as “the inexorable metastasizing human population, prostitutional politics, the ever-lowering cultural and moral common denominators, the horrific pressures on endangered species, crime, and the billions of those whose religious aspirations seem to relegate this planet to a mere toilet stop on the way to heaven.” King’s art has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy Alumni Fellowship Shows; The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg; The Allentown Art Museum; the Woodmere Museum, Phila.; Mystic Connecticut Marine Museum; Phillips Mill Annual Art Exhibition, New Hope; Experimental Aircraft Museum, Oshkosh, WI; Art in City Hall, Phila.; among others.