Colors Sing to Me: The Life and Art of Polly King

Polly King (American. 1901–1993) Marketplace in the Shadow of the Church circa 1950 Images courtesy of the King Family in partnership with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area

Colors Sing to Me: The Life and Art of Polly King

May 22, 2024 - Sep 1, 2024

  • Reception Jun 6, 2024 • 4:30-7:30 p.m.


Polly King was a prolific painter, sculptor, writer, and photographer who resided in Niagara Falls, New York for most of the twentieth century. With a career spanning the early 1900s to her death in 1993, Polly King explored and excelled at a broad range of artistic styles, from Impressionism, including landscapes and still lifes, to portraiture and abstract works. She utilized countless artistic mediums including watercolor, oils, charcoal, and mixed media.

It is impossible to fully capture the essence of Polly King as an artist, as she was an inherently creative and curious individual. She saw art in everything around her, and expressed this inspiration through different styles and mediums. Her art did not just live on canvas: she created art and surrounded herself with it. She painted scenes on her bedroom window shades, and detailed motifs on her dressers and cabinets. Art permeated every aspect of her life and creations, serving as an essential element of her existence. Polly King believed in the inherent creativity that resides in all people, and worked every day to express her own.

For seven decades, from 1925-1993, Polly King witnessed the vast transformation in Niagara Falls, from its industrial origins to its heyday as the Honeymoon Capital of the World, and to its present state as a Rust Belt city. She captured these important moments in her works, such as the construction of the Niagara Power Project and the thriving business district on Main Street, as well as the people who populated the city.

In this retrospective exhibition, artworks have been chosen from a variety of styles, mediums, and subjects to provide a glimpse into the totality of the artist's lifework. Visitors will view artworks of still lifes, scenes from her travels abroad, abstract renderings of industrial landscapes, and much more.