L S Lowry’s Going to the Match comes to Oldham

L S Lowry’s masterpiece Going to the Match is going on public display in Gallery Oldham from 2 December 2023 to 24 February 2024

This hugely important and much-loved work of art had been on public display at The Lowry since it opened in 2000, courtesy of a loan by then owners the Professional Footballers Association.

The 1953 work shows fans arriving for a Bolton Wanderers game at their former home, Burnden Park. 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.

However, following the decision by the PFA last year 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.

But following a high-profile campaign, Going to the Match was purchased by The Lowry in Salford for The Lowry Collection at the Modern British & Irish Art Sale at Christie’s in London in October 2022, thanks to the generous support of The Law Family Charitable Foundation.

It returned to public display at The Lowry last November as part of Salford’s Lowry Collection and The Lowry is now working with galleries across the North West to ensure that the piece can be enjoyed by the widest possible audience and communities. It went on public display at Bolton Museum in March this year, and will be on display at a number of other towns and cities including Oldham, Blackpool, Birkenhead and Bury.

Chief Executive of The Lowry, Julia 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.

“Lowry was a great observer of ordinary people, particularly in the industrial landscape and the picture captures that pre-match expectation and excitement. It was so important to us that an artwork which speaks so directly to the people of the North was brought permanently back to where it belongs. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of The Law Family Charitable Foundation we were able to purchase the painting for the City of Salford, and we look forward to returning that generosity by sharing the painting with other venues and communities across the North West of England over the coming months and years.”

Councillor Peter Dean, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture, said: “I’m delighted ‘Going to the Match’ is coming to Gallery Oldham.

“Lowry was a frequent visitor to Oldham and images of the borough feature in his works. To get one of his most famous paintings loaned to us is a real honour.

“I hope that as many people as possible take this opportunity to see this important artwork.”

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