A Manufacturing Town

1922 in Salford
Laurence Stephen Lowry

A Manufacturing Town' by L. S. Lowry, 1922. Oil on panel, signed and dated, bottom left. An industrial cityscape in the spirit of a northern town such as the artist's native Salford. The artist combines elements of factory buildings, mine heads, smoking chimneys, busy street life and civic pride.

One of Lowry’s first works to receive public recognition, this painting appeared in the ‘Civic Week’ supplement of the Manchester Guardian in 1926. The week was arranged to promote worker pride following the recent General Strike. Yet in style, content and title the painting captures the brooding essence of all Lowry’s industrial scenes. Under smoking chimneys, repetitive dark figures hurry between dour factories. Both they and their location are anonymous. Lowry’s work is seen as capturing the reduction of human workers to machines, mere units of production in vast industrial processes.

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Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

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Object Number:
gilt, oil paint on panel and wood (unidentified)
frame: 645 mm x 745 mm x 75 mm,
image: 432 mm x 533 mm
oil painting
  • visual and verbal communication
  • oil painting - visual work

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