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Looks Like A Lowry – Modern Life In The National Photography Collection

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This week Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life opens at Tate Britain. This new exhibition will focus on the best of painter L.S. Lowry’s urban scenes and industrial landscapes.

L. S. Lowry in his studio at home, 27 February 1961, Roy Spencer, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

L. S. Lowry in his studio at home, 27 February 1961, Roy Spencer, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Associate curators Rebecca and Brian have made a selection of photographs from our archives which depict the scenes that were the subject of Lowry’s work. Here are just a few of the very many images in the National Photography Collection of mid 20th century industrial North West England.

Child in a Liverpool slum housing area, 21 November 1949, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Child in a Liverpool slum housing area, 21 November 1949, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Children playing in the streets of Liverpool's Chinatown, 20 November 1933,  Haywood Magee, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Children playing in the streets of Liverpool’s Chinatown, 20 November 1933, Haywood Magee, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Children play in slum housing area in Hulme, Manchester, 4 July 1946, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Children play in slum housing area in Hulme, Manchester, 4 July 1946, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Two figures walk by cleared blitz site, Liverpool, 21 November 1949, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Two figures walk by cleared blitz site, Liverpool, 21 November 1949, White, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

'Liverpool slums', 1933, Bishop Marshall, , Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

‘Liverpool slums’, 1933, Bishop Marshall, , Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Beeching to close Manchester Central Station, 27 March 1963, Ralph, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Beeching to close Manchester Central Station, 27 March 1963, Ralph, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Manchester United return to Old Trafford, 24 August 1949, Bert Abell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Manchester United return to Old Trafford, 24 August 1949, Bert Abell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Speedway at Belle Vue, Manchester, 10 June 1946, Bert Abell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Speedway at Belle Vue, Manchester, 10 June 1946, Bert Abell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Women and children in a Liverpool slum housing scene, c.1935, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Women and children in a Liverpool slum housing scene, c.1935, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Young mother carries her child in a shawl, Liverpool,  Haywood Magee, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Young mother carries her child in a shawl, Liverpool, Haywood Magee, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

For a contemporary take on Lowry’s vision of industrial England, FT Magazine recently published an excellent article for which they commissioned photographer John Davies (whose work sits in the National Photography Collection) to produce a series of pictures in North West England inspired by the work of L.S. Lowry.

L. S. Lowry with his painting 'Piccadilly Circus', 11 October 1961, D. Eatwell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

L. S. Lowry with his painting ‘Piccadilly Circus’, 11 October 1961, D. Eatwell, Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL

Written by Emma Thom

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  1. Garry Clarkson

    This is superb! I will be over to check out the collection as soon as I can for my own PHD research.

    1. Emma Thom

      Hi Garry. I’m very pleased to hear it – thanks so much for your comment. What are you researching for your PHD?

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