Knox Tour Boosts Manx Cultural Tourism
Several members of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society travelled from various parts of the UK to attend a unique study tour of the Isle of Man recently organised in conjunction with the Island based Archibald Knox Society.
Members of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society stayed at The Regency Hotel in Douglas which boasts its own permanent collection of Manx art, including a selection of water-colours by the celebrated Manx designer Archibald Knox. They were also joined by a member of the Archibald Knox Society who travelled from New York.
The Study Tour, which has been fully booked for some time, engaged its participants in a unique visitor experience during an extended weekend visit, immersed in the remarkable work of Archibald Knox, Baillie Scott, John Miller Nicholson and Irish stained glass genius Harry Clarke.
Liam O’Neill, Chairman of the Archibald Knox Society commented, “The Study Tour was very quickly sold out and we intend to organise further tours in the future. I think there is a very good market for cultural tourism which we have not fully exploited on the Isle of Man”.
Predictably inclined towards the life and work of Archibald Knox, visitors were guided towards many venues and designs associated with the Manx artist, including his birthplace in Cronkbourne, the intricate work of selected memorials and Knox’s own gravestone at the new Braddan Cemetery. There was also an opportunity to study examples of his work held in private collections and at the Manx Museum, and revisit the designer’s plans to rejuvenate the ruins of the original St German’s Cathedral on St Patrick’s Isle. In addition lectures were given by Peter Kelly MBE about the renowned architect and artist Baillie Scott, and by the Founder and Chairman of the Archibald Knox Society, Liam O’Neill, on the theme of the life and work of the Manx designer Archibald Knox.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society is an independent charity established in 1973 to promote and encourage awareness of the Scottish architect and designer across the world.
During a short-lived, but significant architectural career, Glasgow born Mackintosh developed his own style incorporating elements of his Scottish upbringing with the influences of Art Nouveau and Asian design. He was also an admirer of Japonism and was a major influence on European design.
Linked by their unique artistic flair for unusual and creative designs, there are many parallels between the lives of Knox and Mackintosh. The work of both men straddled the turn of the nineteenth century, both at the height of their careers 1900 – 1905, and it was only after their deaths that recognition of their work garnered the full admiration of a generous public.
Valerie Caine, © June 2012
(Courtesy of Manx Tails)