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.
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.