A rare painting by LS Lowry of a backstreet cricket match in 1938 is to go on display at The Lowry in Salford for five days this May bank holiday weekend.
The work, which Lowry called A Cricket Match, will be available to view from Thurs 23 – Mon 27 May as part of the permanent exhibition, LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist.
Commenting on the display, Claire Stewart, curator of The Lowry Collection, said: “This is a real treat. A Cricket Match is a quintessential Lowry scene, captured from a distance, showing children playing on wasteland behind rows of terraced houses. We have a drawing in our collection called Houses in Broughton which shows the same setting and is how we were able to identify the location of this work.”
A Cricket Match has only been on public display twice before, once in 1939 when Lowry chose to include it in an exhibition in London – and very briefly at Sotheby’s as part of a pre-auction display in 1996 when it set the then world record for the artist at £282,000.
The work is now up for auction again (on 18 June) and Sotheby’s has estimated it could fetch up to £1.2 million. Prior to the auction, the work will once again go on view to the public, at Sotheby’s London galleries from 14 – 17 June.
Simon Hucker, senior specialist for modern and post-war British art at Sotheby’s said: “This exceptional painting is both a ‘classic’ Lowry, depicting the hard life of the industrial cities at the turn of the 20th century, and also quite rare in its depiction of a cricket match, even though cricket has always been very much part of Manchester life.
“Coinciding with the run-up to the Cricket World Cup in June, this special exhibition in Lowry’s beloved Salford is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers and cricket fans alike to see a different element of Lowry’s world-view.”
The display at The Lowry kick-starts a summer of cricket in Greater Manchester – as neighbouring Emirates Old Trafford gets set to host fixtures as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup in June and July.
LS Lowry: The Art & The Artist
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford, M50 3AZ
Sun-Fri, 11am-5pm. Sat, 10am-5pm.
Admission: Free. Donations welcome.
The Lowry galleries are named The Andrew and Zoe Law Galleries in recognition of the couple’s £1m donation to the arts centre, which is a registered charity.