Monday, September 12, 2011

Archibald Knox Work in Colorado Exhibition and US Lecture Tour


Chairman of the Archibald Knox Society, Liam O’Neill
One of the many museums in the world to have the distinctive work of Archibald Knox on permanent display is the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art based in Denver, Colorado, where you will see the largest collection of items on permanent display in any museum in the USA.

The museum cares for 64 pieces of art work designed for the celebrated Liberty & Co. from approximately 1898 – 1908, a time when Knox was at his most active. But now a temporary exhibition entitled ‘Liberty of London and Archibald Knox’ will give the public an opportunity to see all of this work from Liberty & Co. on display at the Denver museum.

Running from the 16th September for one month under the guidance of the museum’s founding director and curator, Hugh Grant, visitors to the exhibition will be able to view examples of Knox designed  Cymric (Silverware) and Tudric (Pewter) from the museum’s archive, often inlaid with enamel and sometimes semi-precious gems. Promising a cornucopia of delights from the London based Liberty & Co., they will include an array of clocks, vases, candlesticks, jewellery, an inlaid tea and coffee set and ice tub amongst others.

Liberty & Co. was founded in 1875 and became well known as an emporium for imported fabrics, metal ware and home furnishings, becoming a shop window for local arts and crafts artists, although the company insisted on anonymity for their designers. Knox became one of Liberty & Co’s most influential designers and was influenced by Celtic patterns and the curvature of Art Nouveau.

The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art will also be the starting point for an important lecture tour of the US at a number of prestigious venues during September, highlighting the work of Knox, with the first location co-sponsored by the New York based group Initiatives in Art and Culture. Entitled ‘Archibald Knox: In the Ministry of the Beautiful’ these lectures will be given by the current Chairman of the Archibald Knox Society, Liam O’Neill. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the University of Ottawa and an MA in Celtic Christianity from the University of Wales, Liam O’Neill has worked as both a teacher and lecturer for over thirty years, but has a long held passionate interest in the life and work of one of the Island’s most celebrated craftsmen. This ultimately led to him founding the Archibald Knox Society in 2006. 

Liam will then travel to Seattle (24th) for the 14th Annual Bungalow Fair where his lecture will be co-sponsored by Historic Seattle and The Royal Oak Foundation, before heading for Gamble House in Pasadena, California (27th), as part of the Sydney D. Gamble Lecture Series and the Grolier Club in New York (29th) which will also be co-sponsored by The Royal Oak Foundation and the New York Victorian Society.

The Archibald Knox Society is also indebted to the Manx Heritage Foundation and the Knox Group PLC located in Douglas on the Isle of Man, who will also be sponsoring this unique tour of the US.

For further information about dates, venues and registration details, or the work of the Archibald Knox Society www.archibaldknoxsociety.com or email aksociety@manx.net

Valerie Caine © August 2011

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