'Biggest ever' Archibald Knox exhibition planned on Isle of Man

Published
Liberty Cymric menu holderImage source, MNH
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Archibald Knox was born on the Isle of Man in 1864

An "ambitious" project to stage the largest exhibition of work by Art Nouveau designer Archibald Knox has been launched.

It will feature up to 200 of the Manx-born designer's works, including his Liberty metal work as well his paintings and sketches.

The Archibald Knox Forum hopes to display pieces held by museums and dealers and in private collections.

The display is planned for 2024, the 160th anniversary of Knox's birth.

Image source, MNH
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Many of his designs were for items of jewellery

The forum's Chris Hobdell said holding the exhibition on the Isle of Man would allow people to see "the island that inspired him".

Born in 1864 in Tromode, Knox chose not to follow in his father's engineering footsteps and instead, enrolled at the newly-opened Douglas School of Art at the age of 16.

He went on to become the primary designer for Liberty of London and his pioneering work was key to the company's success and influence upon UK and international design.

Alongside the exhibition itself, guided tours and lectures will be held outlining the places that the artist depicted in many of his artworks and the cultural heritage behind several of his designs.

Image source, MNH
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Knox died in Douglas in 1933

Mr Hobdell said: "I want people to see what about the history and culture and landscape of the Isle of Man, what effect it had on him, and how it inspired him to do the wonderful works he did because all his work is bound up in Manx and Celtic history and tradition."

The forum previously held an exhibition of the designer's work at the Manx Museum in 2018.

The charity aims to raise £75,000 in sponsorship to cover the costs.

Image source, MNH
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The Manx-born artist painted many landscapes, including Greeba Mountain
Image source, MNH
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The designer created many of his works while living in Sulby in the Isle of Man
Image source, MNH
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Knox studied at the Douglas School of Art before moving to London
Image source, MNH
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He is renowned for his metal work designs for Liberty
Image source, MANXSCENES
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He also designed the gravestone for author Hall Caine, who was buried in Maughold Churchyard

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