Pupils, staff and parents at Greenmeadow Primary School were surprised when two original paintings by one of Britain’s most famous artists appeared in their school hall.
Staff from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery transformed the hall into a private exhibition space for the school community for the day.
Pupils and families were able to enjoy a unique, close-up look at two artworks by the painter L.S Lowry.
Greenmeadow students took part in workshops with museum staff to discover more about Lowry’s paintings ‘Winter in Pendlebury’ (1943) and ‘A Procession’ (1938). They learnt about Lowry’s life and art, from the way he held his paintbrush, to his lifelong love of Manchester City Football Club.
Mags Parker, Learning and Engagement Officer at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, said: “This was a really special opportunity for us and the school community. It is very rare that paintings of this calibre make it out of galleries, so this was a unique way of helping pupils to get up close and personal with modern art!
“It was a powerful experience for pupils to see at first-hand genuine masterpieces which they have been learning about in class. This was a great way to bring Swindon’s art collection to more people and to break down barriers to accessing the fantastic local and national heritage held in our collections.”
L.S Lowry was born in 1887 and rose to artistic fame as a painter in the 1940s and ‘50s. He is well-known for his stylised ‘matchstick men’ figures, his depictions of urban landscapes and his portrayal of everyday life in Greater Manchester.
Greenmeadow Primary is one of five primary schools in Swindon taking delivery of these masterpieces for a day, as part of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s ‘The Bigger Picture’ project.
The artworks are part of the modern British art collection held by Swindon's Museum and Art Gallery. The two Lowry paintings are among more than 1,500 artworks in the nationally-significant collection.
Greenmeadow Primary is one of 38 partner schools currently working with Swindon Museum and Art Gallery as part of its Schools Outreach Programme.
Catherine Roberts, Art Lead at Greenmeadow Primary, added: “At Greenmeadow Primary School we strive to provide our children with a vast range of enriching and inspiring experiences.
“This visit from Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has enhanced our cultural capital and allowed children to be exposed to incredible artwork which they potentially may not have seen otherwise. It has also reinforced learning carried out in Art and Design, where Lowry is covered in our Y3 curriculum.”
Cllr Matty Courtliff, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “Not many pupils will get the chance to see a Lowry in their school so I’m absolutely delighted our superb museum and art gallery team came up with this fantastic idea to showcase these paintings in this way.
“It is the latest in a series of programmes we have run with local schools to create greater engagement and awareness of our art and museum collections. We are looking forward to working even more closely with our schools when the new museum and art gallery opens at the Civic Offices next year where we will have dedicated classrooms and teaching areas where children can learn about even more of the artwork in our care.”