20th Century British Art
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Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976)

Print Painter, born in Manchester, Lancashire. He took private classes with the painter William Fitz before working as a clerk in a firm of chartered accountants in 1904. During the period 1905-15 Lowry studied at Manchester College of Art and Design under Adolphe Valette and in 1910 began to work as a rent collector, a career that was to occupy him for many years. Between 1915-20 he studied at Salford School of Art, and began to take an interest in city scenes. 

Lowry exhibited at the Manchester Society of Modern Painters in 1925 and first exhibited at the RA in 1932. He also showed at the Lefevre Gallery from 1939 where he subsequently exhibited regularly and at the NS, PS and many other important venues. He did not eschew his home town and also showed at the MAFA and his work was also reproduced in the Pictures for Schools series. A retrospective exhibition was held at the RA in 1976 after his demise. Until 1952 Lowry continued to work for the Pall Mall Property Company, and rose from the post of rent collector to that of chief cashier. He was greatly lauded in his lifetime, but never lost a certain dourness of character. 

Although wrongly labelled as a Naïve artist, his work is instantly recognisable and is in collections and museums around the world including Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Atkinson Art Gallery, Bolton Art Gallery, Bury Art Gallery, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Jerwood Gallery, Leamington Spa Art Gallery, Newport Art Gallery, New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery, MIMA, Rochdale Art Gallery, Rugby Museum and Art Gallery, Rye Art Gallery, Stockport Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent Art Gallery, Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery, Swindon Art Gallery, Tate Gallery, York Art Gallery, University of Warwick Art Collection and the Usher Art Gallery, Lincoln.

Literature: A Cotswold Book by Harold William Timperley, illustrated by L. S Lowry. Published by Jonathan Cape, London, 1931. The Discovery of L. S. Lowry. A critical and biographical essay by Maurice Stewart Collis. Published by Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, 1951. Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain) L.S. Lowry RA, 1887-1976 : Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Royal Academy, 4 September to 14 November, 1976. Published by the RA, London, 1976. ISBN 0900946288.

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