17 February 2018


Following up Archibald Knox (above) after visiting the Kingston exhibition about Denise Wren and the Knox Guild, I found an article about him by Winifrid Tuckfield, Denise's sister, in Mannin, a journal of Manx life, written in 1917.

Here is an extract, which shows his originality and independence of the national art curriculum.
"Mr. Knox's system of teaching was essentially his own. Instead of insisting on the English method of art education by making laborious copies of scraps of museum specimens of 'styles' he made at his own expense three thousand lantern slides, illustrating works of art from prehistoric times down to the gipsy caravans of to-day, showing how Art was produced by the workman in the joy of using his chisel or hammer. To you of MANNIN it will be interesting to know that he gave lectures on your grey thatched homes, your churches, and your crosses, making us love them as if they were our own."
The full article can be found here.

Knox was in post at Kingston art school in the first decade of the 20th century. By that time art education had been revolutionized by artists associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, notably at Birmingham (reformed in 1877) , Glasgow, the LCC Central School,  Camberwell and the RCA. Knox's difficulties show how long it took the government schools to catch up. But change was coming fast. In 1916, Charles Holme, founder-editor of The Studio, published a survey of art schools that showed how they had all been shaped by the Arts and Crafts aesthetic.

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