Following a successful bid last month at the Modern British & Irish Art Sale at Christie’s in London, The Lowry bought LS Lowry’s ‘Going to the Match’ 1953 in order to remain part of The Lowry Collection. This hugely important and much-loved work of art has been on public display at The Lowry since they opened in 2000, courtesy of a loan by owners, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), and will be available to view once more from this Friday (November 25).
The painting’s iconic status has been recognised and loved by visitors of all ages: those who love art, those who love football and those who celebrate this quintessentially Northern experience. Following the decision by the PFA to sell ‘Going to the Match,’ there were no guarantees that any future owners would share the commitment to keeping the work on public view and free to access.
Julia Fawcett OBE, CEO of The Lowry, said: “We firmly believe that this iconic artwork must remain on public view, so it can continue to be seen by the broadest possible audiences, for free. This evening, thanks to an incredibly generous gift from The Law Family Charitable Foundation, we are delighted to have purchased the painting for the city’s collection of LS Lowry works.
“We look forward to bringing it home to Salford, where it can continue to delight and attract visitors to the Andrew and Zoë Law galleries at The Lowry. A great deal of work has been needed to make this intervention possible – I’d like to thank Andrew and Zoë Law, our Chair Sir Rod Aldridge, Salford’s City Mayor Paul Dennett and our Trustees for all of their support.”
Andrew Law, who founded The Law Family Charitable Foundation with his wife Zoe, said: “This LS Lowry painting belongs in Salford on public view, close to his birthplace, where he was educated and where he lived. Place matters. LS Lowry’s depiction of people attending a football match is just one of his many incredible genres of work, but it is undoubtedly his most iconic.”
Lowry, famous for his stick-like figures and industrial scenes in the north-west of England in the mid-20th century, produced a number of football paintings, of which ‘Going to the Match’ is the best known. The painting depicts the great crowds outside Burnden Park, the then-home of Bolton Wanderers, which was only a few miles from where the artist lived in Pendlebury. However, Lowry himself was a life-long Manchester United fan.
‘Going to the Match’ will now be rehung at The Lowry, where it will be free to view from November 25.