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Dong Kingman biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970” By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last.
Dong Kingman, N.A. (1911-2000)...Born: Oakland, CA
Dong Kingman was born in California of Chinese parents. While still a child, Kingman returned with them to China. There, he received art instruction from traditional Chinese watercolorists and Sze-To-Wai, a Paris-educated artist who was very knowledgeable about modern art trends. In 1929, Kingman moved back to San Francisco and started producing watercolor paintings depicting Bay Area cityscape subjects.
During the Depression, Dong Kingman did watercolors for the P.W.A. Art Relief Project in San Francisco and his works were included in the Frontiers ofAmericdn Art show. By the mid- I 930s, when California watercolors were beginning to receive national attention, Kingman was recognized as one of the Bay Areds finest watercolorists. The San Francisco Museum of Art acquired a number of his works and exhibited them in numerous watercolor shows.
In 1942, Dong Kingman was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship which enabled him to travel around the United States painting watercolors of American scene subjects. When Kingman got to New York City, he found it to his liking and produced a number of works depicting cityscape subjects. He went into the service during World War 11 and ended up producing art for the war effort in Washington, D.C. After the war, he decided to live in New York City and spend less time in San Francisco.
Kingman's early works featured loose washes, often done using a wet-into-wet technique, with some dry brush calligraphy for definition. His post war works became increasingly complex in subject matter and usually had a geometric, abstractionist look. Between 1945 and 1965, he painted a large number of outstanding cityscape watercolors of New York City and San Francisco. The best of these works have exceptional compositions, interesting subject matter and an exciting sense of drama. They are among the finest examples of American watercolor produced during that era.
...extended biography is available in McClellands "California Watercolors" book.
Dong Kingman biographical information:
Interview with Dong Kingman, 1994
The Watercolors of Dong Kingman.