LS Lowry’s 'masterpiece' match day painting to go on display in Merseyside

The painting getting moved from The Lowry ready to go on tour.The painting getting moved from The Lowry ready to go on tour.
The painting getting moved from The Lowry ready to go on tour. | Nathan Chandler, The Lowry
English artist LS Lowry painted scenes of life in the industrial districts of the North West and 'Going to the Match' is considered one of his masterpieces.

LS Lowry’s iconic painting 'Going to the Match' is going on tour and will be displayed at five venues in the North West, including the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead.

The high-profile £7.8 million artwork is part of the collection at The Lowry gallery in Manchester after being purchased in 2022. Painted in 1953, it still resonates with audiences today.

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Chief Executive of The Lowry, Julie Fawcett O.B.E said: “Going to the Match is a masterpiece and for that reason alone, it was important we were able to secure it so that future generations could come and see it, for free, forever.” 

The tour started in December and is set to last a year. It will arrive in Merseyside on 19 April and stay at the gallery until the 27 July.

Spectators admiring the painting at The Lowry.Spectators admiring the painting at The Lowry.
Spectators admiring the painting at The Lowry. | Nathan Chandler, The Lowry

Art’s council England has boosted the tour with £95,000 through its national lottery project grants programme. The aim is for each venue to work cooperatively with the community and local football teams to curate and tailor each viewing.

Julia Fawcett, the CEO of The Lowry, and Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, with LS Lowry's Going to the Match.Julia Fawcett, the CEO of The Lowry, and Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, with LS Lowry's Going to the Match.
Julia Fawcett, the CEO of The Lowry, and Paul Dennett, Salford City Mayor, with LS Lowry's Going to the Match. | Nathan Chandler, The Lowry

The professional footballer's association (PFA) had been loaning the painting to the Lowry since it opened in 2000. Once the PFA made the decision to sell the painting in 2022, it was uncertain what the future was and whether any future owners would share in the commitment to have this piece of artwork on display for the public.

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Both The Lowry and the Arts Council England helped make the tour happen. It started in December 2023 at Gallery Oldham where the painting will be on display until 24th February 2024. LS Lowry’s painting will then tour to: The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead, The National Football Museum, Manchester and finally Bury Art Museum.

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