From Sat 2 Dec to Sat 24 Feb, L.S. Lowry’s stirring masterpiece Going to the Match will be on public display in Gallery Oldham, following residencies in Salford and Bolton earlier this year.

Painted in 1953, Lowry’s inimitable depiction of Bolton Wanderers fans striding towards Burnden Park in their thousands captures an arrestingly timeless regional experience, resonating across generations of art-lovers, football supporters and Northerners alike.

Having been on display at The Lowry since 2000, Going to the Match faced sudden jeopardy last year, when the Professional Footballers Association opted to sell the work. Thankfully, after a high-profile campaign and generous financial support from The Law Family Charitable Foundation, The Lowry bought the painting at Christie’s in October 2022, and now works with galleries across the North West to expand free public access to an historic cultural asset, with planned display periods in Birkenhead, Bury and Blackpool following its season at Gallery Oldham.

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.”

For more information, check out the Gallery Oldham website.

Sat 2 Dec - Sat 24 Feb, Gallery Oldham,
35 Greaves St, Oldham OL1 1AL
, Tel: 0161 770 4653
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 22 Nov 2023