Archibald Knox was the son of William Knox, a Scottish engineer. He was educated at Douglas Grammar School and then Douglas School of Art. Until 1897 Knox taught art at Douglas Grammar School, when he left to teach at various Art Schools in and around London. It was during this time he began producing designs for Liberty & Co. Apart from a few years spent on the Island concentrating on his design work, Knox taught in England until 1912. Following an unsuccessful trip to America in search of new artistic work, Knox finally returned to the Isle of Man in 1913. He resumed his career as an art teacher, punctuated by four years spent as a censor in Knockaloe Internment Camp during the First World War. Art: Knox was a multi-talented artist, who designed everything from silver teapots to slate gravestones and grocer’s bank cheques. Indeed the first known and dated piece of design work by Knox is for a gravestone (1896) in Kirk Braddan cemetery. His innovative and intricate designs were in the vanguard of the Art Nouveau movement and through his interpretation the art of the Manx crosses was transformed into iconic modern design. His work has and continues to influence many Manx artists.
Liberty Cymric coffee and tea service designed by Archibald Knox ©Manx National Heritage (1988-0008a-e)