Artist and teacher Archibald Ziegler was born to Jewish-Lithuanian immigrant parents in Plaistow, London, England on 21 June 1903; his mother died when he was six and he was orphaned at the age of fourteen. He drew from an early age, working to support himself in a variety of posts including assistant ship’s cook and as a saw maker, before going on to study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Bernard Meninsky, and then at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1927 he gained a senior scholarship to the Royal College of Art, where he studied under Sir William Rothenstein until 1930. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1931 and held his first solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1932. Further solo London shows followed including at the Adams Gallery (1935), the Wertheim Gallery (1937), the Morley Gallery (1937), the Arcade Gallery (1946), and the Leger Gallery (1948). He exhibited frequently at Ben Uri Gallery in both group exhibitions, first showing in an annual exhibition in 1936 and then regularly in 1937, 1944-47, 1949-56, 1958, 1964, 1967 and 1970, as one of twelve contemporary artists in 1958, and one of eight contemporary artists in 1963. He also had solo shows at Ben Uri in 1947, 1950 (Landscapes of Israel), 1959 and 1968. He was a member of the Ben Uri council, serving on the Art Committee in the 1950–60s, and as Vice-President in 1947–48. Following the tragic early death of his wife and son, his Hampstead home became particularly important, and he painted many pictures of the local streets and the Heath, often carrying out preparatory sketches in pen and wash. In his later years, he carried out many portrait sculpture commissions.
Ziegler also taught drawing and painting at St Martin’s School of Art and art history for the Workers’ Educational Association at Morley College, London. His commissions included a mural for Toynbee Hall in London’s East End and he was the first living artist to have a retrospective exhibition at Kenwood House. Archibald Ziegler died in London, England in 1971 and a memorial exhibition was held at Ben Uri Gallery in 1972. His work is in UK Collections including the London Borough of Camden and the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead. A posthumous retrospective was held at Burgh House, Hampstead in 2018. His daughter is the artist, Dahlia Ziegler.