Artists & Designers
Archibald Knox (1864-1933)
Born in 1864 in Cronkbourne on the Isle of Man in the British Isles, designer Archibald Knox often returned to Manx influences in his work – to the degree that stylized Celtic motifs came to virtually define the ornamental characteristics of his entire oeuvre. This late 19th-century trend toward nationalistic or regionalist influences corresponded to archeological investigations both in his own county and elsewhere, with particular parallels in the revival of Scandinavian forms in the so-called Viking revival style. He attended the Douglas School of Art and, in 1892, was awarded a silver medal for his study, Historic Styles of Ornament Relating to the Manx Runic Crosses, the first of his treatments on the subject which foreshadowed the nature of his design work in the coming decades. In 1897 he moved to London and began designing objects for the Silver Studio and teaching art at the Redhill School of Art. By 1899 he was working as a designer for the London firm of Liberty & Co., renowned for their production and retail distribution of a host of Aesthetic style goods, from textiles and rugs, to various household furnishings. Although he returned to the Isle of Man in 1900, in the following few years
Knox contributed nearly 400 designs, all uncredited, to Liberty, most of which were for jewelry, the Tudric (pewter goods) and Cymric (silver goods) Celtic-inspired lines. In 1912 Knox established the Knox Guild of Design and Craft with his former students, an organization which was sustained until his death in 1937.
Kevin Tucker, DMA unpublished material, 2012.