Archibald Knox: Transcending The Arts & Crafts Movement Into Modernism

An exhibition of Silver and Pewter wares by the iconic 20th century designer Archibald Knox is to be held at the 42nd Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, which takes place 5th – 15th June 2014. The show will mark the 150th anniversary of Knox’s birth in 1864. The display will present, for the first time, some of the best examples of Knox’s metal work, in a single venue. The objects originate from a number of private collections, featuring exceptional and rare pieces of Liberty & Co. enamelled Cymric silver, a large collection of Knox’s Liberty clocks, Tudric Pewter-ware and jewellery.

The display has been coordinated by Anthony Bernbaum and the Archibald Knox Society. Bernbaum, an expert on Knox metalware,  added; “A favourite design maxim of Archibald Knox was: “Aim at Order Hope for Beauty”. This has inspired the title of this exhibition, which brings together possibly the greatest collection of Knox’s metalwork and jewellery ever shown in Britain. The exhibition will demonstrate both Knox’s unique Celtic art nouveau style and his exceptional modernist avant-garde approach. We hope that everyone who sees the exhibits will be convinced of their timeless beauty.”

Born on the Isle of Man on 9th April 1864, Archibald Knox was one of the most influential figures in the British Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Through a dynamic partnership with Liberty & Co., Knox’s work achieved widespread acclaim, helping establish Liberty’s avant-garde reputation, though he himself was unrecognised in his own lifetime. His unique contribution was acknowledged when he was asked to design the gravestone of Liberty’s founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty.

The birth of the great Manx designer, Archibald Knox, with this anniversary exhibition is a long overdue and a very fortunate opportunity to appreciate more deeply Knox’s diverse genius, his vast influence on twentieth century design and the sheer beauty of his objects.” stated; Dr Stephen A. Martin, author of Archibald Knox & President of the Archibald Knox Society.

 “It is very appropriate that the Archibald Knox Society wishes to acknowledge the 150th anniversary of Knox’s birth this year. Knox was an enormously accomplished designer, not only in silver and pewter for the Liberty Cymric and Tudric ranges but also as a designer of carpets, other textiles and jewellery. A shy and retiring man, his reputation was not properly acknowledged in his lifetime because of Liberty’s policy of anonymity for their designers. It was only in the latter part of the 20th century that his talents came to be fully appreciated. The Society serves to bring recognition of these to an ever-widening audience.” – Eric Turner, Curator, Metalwork Collections, Department of Sculpture, Metal Work, Ceramics & Glass, Victoria & Albert Museum

“Archibald Knox is one of the seminal designers of the 20th century, with work held in most key global design collections. I look forward to seeing the exceptional works on show and I’m very excited that this exhibition has seen fruition. This display allows us a rare opportunity to explore the impact that this artist has had on the transition from the Arts & Crafts Movement into Modernism.” says, Paul Carter Robinson author of 20th Century Pewter Art Nouveau To Modernism.

A full colour catalogue will be available for sale at the exhibition

Archibald Knox: Beauty & Modernity – A Designer Ahead of His Time Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, which takes place 5th – 15th June 2014

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