OUR COVER ILLUSTRATION this week is probably the last of the series of etchings by Wil King that we shall have the privilege of publishing. Mr. King was in our office last Thursday to make plans for future illustrations and was apparently in excellent health at that time; on Friday he was confined to his home with what appeared to be a minor ailment, and on Saturday morning he died.
Mr. King, who was only thirty, had already achieved fame for his etchings and water color paintings and was on the threshold of what appeared to be an exceptionally promising career. Some of his works are now on display at art centers in New York and Boston as well as at the exhibition of the Seven Arts Society of Milwaukee. During the past year he had devoted a considerable amount of his time to the etchings reproduced on the covers of The Living Church, which are based on sketches made on a motor trip last summer. He has also done some art work for the Forward Movement Commission, entering into the spirit of the Forward Movement enthusiastically, though not himself a member of the Episcopal Church. Paul Rusch, on his recent visit to this country, invited Mr. [490/491] King to go to Japan this summer and undertake a series of sketches of the missionary work in that country, under the auspices of the Japanese Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and he had this invitation under consideration at the time of his death.
The sudden termination of the life of a young man who, after years of training, is just beginning to realize the potentialities within himself is one of the most inscrutable tragedies of life. We may be sure, however, that in the wisdom and loving-kindness of Almighty God even a tragedy so great, viewed from a human standpoint, has its place and its purpose. If these are not apparent to a sorrowing widow and child in the hour of their bereavement, or to the friends and acquaintances to whom it comes as a shock, they are none the less real and certain. May he rest in peace and may light perpetual shine upon him.
From The Living Church, April 18, 1936, pp. 490-491.