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Archibald Knox Anniversary 15 February 2008

Watercolour of Archibald Knox by E C QuayleManx National Heritage will mark the 75th Anniversary of the death of internationally renowned Manx born artist Archibald Knox later this month by hosting a special display of Knox’s work in the National Art Gallery at the Manx Museum.

The commemorative display will open from 20th February 2008 and will include a new interpretive banner detailing the work and life of Archibald Knox, a famous and accomplished Manx artist across a spectrum of artistic genres.

Curator of Social History for Manx National Heritage, Matthew Richardson, commented:

“Manx National Heritage has an extensive collection both of original designs and examples of jewellery, fabrics, papers, Liberty ‘Cymric’ silverware and ‘Tudric’ pewterware and also a large number of watercolour paintings, very much the product of his native landscape. This unique commemorative display will bring together a variety of Knox artefacts held within the national collection and will illustrate the unique skill that Knox possessed”.

Knox was born in Tromode and was educated at the Grammar School before attending the Douglas School of Art. Encouraged by his headmaster, who was a noted archaeologist, he became fascinated by the Island’s ancient Celtic and Norse carved crosses, and their complex interlace patterns which were to remain a seminal influence for the rest of his life.

Knox left the Island to teach in the London area from 1897 until 1912, and during this period began an association with Liberty & Co, which was to see him recognised as one of the foremost designers in the English Art Nouveau movement.

Towards the end of his life, living and working once more in the Isle of Man as an art teacher, Knox was in great demand locally as a book illustrator and designer of illuminated addresses and public memorials -several examples of these commissions are held in the Museum’s collections. The international repute of Archibald Knox has never waned.

The Manx Museum is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 5pm.

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