Robert McArthur

Robert McArthur

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Armand Erpf's Maze

From 'Christmas Greetings 2004', a christmas letter from Robert McArthur of Stevenage, whose wife Ibby was the daughter of Dodo, Cecil Gould's sister.

"In September 1967, Armand Erpf, an American millionaire and a financial genius of Czechoslovak origin who had made a fortune on the New York Stock Exchange, met an English scuptor, Michael Ayrton, at a party in New York. Michael already had a considerable reputation as a stage designer, artist and sculptor and had recently completed a novel "The Maze Maker" based on the life of Daedalus. Michael later said "Armand Erpf was a courteous and well spoken elderly gentleman...... I thought 'This man is mad... what does he want?'" He wanted Michael to build a full-size brick maze in the grounds of his estate in the Catskill Mountains in New York State. Michael prepared some preliminary drawings, despatched them, and thought no more of this strange encounter. Some time later, when Michael was preparing to leave California where he had been lecturing at the university, he received a phone call: "This is Armand Erpf. Go ahead!"

And so on a hot June day in 2004, Jo [Robert's daughter] and I drove some 70 miles north west of her home in New Paltz to Arkville, a small town near to the Erpf Educational Foundation where, some time previously, Jo had given a geographical presentation not knowing that, nearby, was the astounding creation of Michael Ayrton, who was, in fact, Ibby's nephew and Jo's first coursin, once removed!

As the structure is in the private grounds of the Erpf estate, we were met by the caretaker, who led us by a curcuitous route through the woods to the maze. The starting point is actrually a twelve-foot circular mosaid made of local tiles. From this, a path of polished stones taken from a nearby brook leads to the entrance, passing throgh Greek columns that Armand Erpf had acquired and Michael used to celebrate the entrance to the maze itself. One thousand, six hundred and eighty feet of narrow pathways, between walls of brick and stone eighteen inches thick and eight feet high, the maze contains 210,000 bricks in an area two hundred feet across. The double centre is based on the form of the Cretan two-headed axe. To either side, the central chambers contain magnificent seven-foot-high bronze statues, one of Daedalus, the maze-maker, and the other the Minotaur, a monster, half-bull, half-man that Theseus slew with the help of Ariadne. And so, standing with Jo in the centre of this unque structure, we remembered Michael, with whom Ibby and her brother John played when they were children."
Biography
Armand Erpf's Maze

From 'Christmas Greetings 2004', a christmas letter from Robert McArthur of Stevenage, whose wife Ibby was the daughter of Dodo, Cecil Gould's sister.

"In September 1967, Armand Erpf, an American millionaire and a financial genius of Czechoslovak origin who had made a fortune on the New York Stock Exchange, met an English scuptor, Michael Ayrton, at a party in New York. Michael already had a considerable reputation as a stage designer, artist and sculptor and had recently completed a novel "The Maze Maker" based on the life of Daedalus. Michael later said "Armand Erpf was a courteous and well spoken elderly gentleman...... I thought 'This man is mad... what does he want?'" He wanted Michael to build a full-size brick maze in the grounds of his estate in the Catskill Mountains in New York State. Michael prepared some preliminary drawings, despatched them, and thought no more of this strange encounter. Some time later, when Michael was preparing to leave California where he had been lecturing at the university, he received a phone call: "This is Armand Erpf. Go ahead!"

And so on a hot June day in 2004, Jo [Robert's daughter] and I drove some 70 miles north west of her home in New Paltz to Arkville, a small town near to the Erpf Educational Foundation where, some time previously, Jo had given a geographical presentation not knowing that, nearby, was the astounding creation of Michael Ayrton, who was, in fact, Ibby's nephew and Jo's first coursin, once removed!

As the structure is in the private grounds of the Erpf estate, we were met by the caretaker, who led us by a curcuitous route through the woods to the maze. The starting point is actrually a twelve-foot circular mosaid made of local tiles. From this, a path of polished stones taken from a nearby brook leads to the entrance, passing throgh Greek columns that Armand Erpf had acquired and Michael used to celebrate the entrance to the maze itself. One thousand, six hundred and eighty feet of narrow pathways, between walls of brick and stone eighteen inches thick and eight feet high, the maze contains 210,000 bricks in an area two hundred feet across. The double centre is based on the form of the Cretan two-headed axe. To either side, the central chambers contain magnificent seven-foot-high bronze statues, one of Daedalus, the maze-maker, and the other the Minotaur, a monster, half-bull, half-man that Theseus slew with the help of Ariadne. And so, standing with Jo in the centre of this unque structure, we remembered Michael, with whom Ibby and her brother John played when they were children."
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Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (U) ?
Birth
Death
Father?
Mother?
PARENT (U) ?
Birth
Death
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
MRobert McArthur
Birth
Death
Marriageto Elizabeth Jones
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Robert McArthur
Birth
Death
Marriageto Elizabeth Jones
Father?
Mother?
PARENT (F) Elizabeth Jones
Birth
Death
Marriageto Robert McArthur
Father? Jones
MotherDorothy Gould
CHILDREN
MAndrew McArthur
Birth
Death
FJo McArthur
Birth
Death
Descendancy Chart