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By Emma Thom on

Photographs that look like L.S. Lowry paintings

As Tate Britain prepares to open a new exhibition of L.S. Lowry’s industrial landscapes, we look at scenes of northern urban life in our collection.

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, Science Museum Group collection

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 our 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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
'Liverpool slums', 1933, Bishop Marshall, , Daily Herald Archive, National Media Museum Collection / SSPL
‘Liverpool slums’, 1933, Bishop Marshall, Daily Herald Archive, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection
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, Science Museum Group collection

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 is represented in our 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, Science Museum Group collection

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