Biography of L.S. Lowry

L.S. Lowry

L.S. Lowry was a twentieth century painter of industrial scenes.

When and Where was he Born?

1st November 1887, Stretford, Manchester, England. Christened Laurence Stephen Lowry.

Family Background:

Lawrence Stephen Lowry was the only child of Irish born R.S. Lowry and Elizabeth Hobson.


Local School in Victoria Park and privately tutored by William Fitz. Municipal College of Art (Now Manchester Metropolitan University) under Adolphe Vallette.

Timeline of L.S. Lowry:

1904: Lowry found work as a clerk in a Manchester firm of accountants.

1905: He went to study art at Manchester School of Art in the evenings (until 1915).

1909: Lowry moved with his parents to Pendlebury in Salford, now part of Greater Manchester.

1910: He obtained a job as a rent collector with a Manchester company where he was to stay for the next 42 years. His vision of the working class streets was formed in this period whilst he tramped the local streets.

1915: Lowry began evening classes at Salford School of Art where he first developed his distinctive style of matchstick figures (until 1925).

1918: Lowry studied at the life classes at Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.

1919: He exhibited for the first time at Manchester Art Gallery.

1930’s: Lowry began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London.

1939: Death of his mother whom he had lived with all her life and nursed in her final years.

1945: Lowry awarded an Honorary MA at Manchester University.

1948: He left Pendlebury when his landlord repossessed his house and moved to Mottram-in-Longendale in Cheshire, where he lived until his death.

1950’s: He visited his long time friend Geoffrey Bennett several years running, who had become the Manager at the National Westminster Bank in Cleator Moor, Cumbria. Lowry painted a picture of the bank and other local scenes.

1961: Lowry awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Manchester University.

1962: L.S. Lowry was elected as a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Geoffrey Bennet becomes an Anglican clergyman.

1964: The Prime Minister used his painting “The Pond” as his official Christmas Card.

The Lowry, Salford
“The Lowry” theatre and gallery in Salford on a former dock of the Manchester Ship Canal. 
Holds many of L.S. Lowry’s paintings (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1965: Lowry made a Freeman of the City of Salford.

1967: “Coming out of School” was used for a British Postage Stamp.

When and Where did he Die?

23rd February 1976, Glossop, Derbyshire, England.

Age at Death:



Never married.

Site of Grave:

Chorlton Southern Cemetery next to his parents.

Places of Interest:


Buxton Art Gallery.
Derby Art Gallery.


Bury Art Gallery.


Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.


Tate Modern.
Science Museum.


The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, M5 2AZ. (Holds over 300 of his works).
Manchester Art Gallery.
Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester.


Castle Gallery, Norwich Castle.


Castle Art Gallery, Nottingham.


The Lowry Trail, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Lowry was especially fond of Berwick and set many of his paintings there. Tourist trail organised in association with Northumberland County Council.


Museum and Art gallery, Stoke on Trent.


Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield.


Museum and Art Gallery, Kirkaldy.


Museum and Art Gallery, Newport.


Ulster Museum, Belfast.