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Laurence Stephen Lowry
Dates: British, 1887 - 1976
Biographical Account:

Laurence Stephen Lowry was a painter of daily life. He was born in 1887 at Old Trafford, in Stretford. Lowry grew up in Pendlebury, where the landscape was dwarfed by textile mills and factories.

 

In 1905 he went to study at the Manchester Municipal College of Art, where he was taught by the French Impressionist artist Pierre Adolphe Valette. But it was at Salford Royal Technical College (now the University of Salford) where Lowry developed his style and interest in the industrial landscape.

 

After leaving education, Lowry became a rent collector working for Mall Property Company, where he worked up until his 65th birthday in 1952. The company supported his career as an artist and allowed time off for exhibitions.

 

During the Second World War Lowry served as a volunteer fire watcher in 1943 he became an official war artist. After the war, he was appointed Official Artist at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

 

Lowry lived and worked in Manchester for over 40 years, painting the surrounding areas. He painted life in industrial towns with his stylized ‘match stick’ figures. He also painted many portraits, scenes from holidays in the North East; beaches, coal miners and ports.  He would draw on anything to hand, if he did not have paper he would draw on the back of envelopes, napkins, and cloakroom tickets.

 

‘At first I detested it, and then, after years I got pretty interested in it, then obsessed by it’

 

 Lowry died of pneumonia in Glossop in February 1976, he was 88.

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