Lowry's Painting Of Glasgow Docks - Comes Home

By Roz Tappenden | 23 December 2005
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A painting of a dockyard with two ships in the background and some black cranes. There are lots of people walking around in the foreground.

Cranes and Ships, Glasgow Docks by LS Lowry. Image courtesy: Glasgow Museums.

One of LS Lowry’s most significant works – Cranes and Ships, Glasgow Docks – has been acquired by the city of Glasgow for its forthcoming Riverside Museum, which is being built just across the river from the docks depicted in the painting.

The piece, acquired at Christie's in November 2005 for £198,400, can already be seen at the city’s Museum of Transport in Kelvin Hall from December 22 where it will remain until the completion of the Riverside Museum at the end of 2008.

The 1947 work was bought by Glasgow City Council on November 18 with the help of Glasgow Businessman Willie Haughey, executive chairman of City Refrigeration Holdings, and a £20,000 grant from the National Art Collections Fund.

Councillor Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The Clyde was obviously a tremendous figure in Glasgow's past and is now set to be key to the city's future with the redevelopment now taking place on the river.”

Shows a photograph of the main entrance to the current Museum of Transport in Glasgow. A vast set of steps leads up under a red, scaffold-style canopy, to a large doorway.

The painting will be on display in Glasgow's Museum of Transport until the completion of the Riverside Museum in 2008. Image courtesy: Glasgow Museums.

The Riverside Museum, where the painting will eventually reside, is being built just across the river from Princes Dock, the scene captured by Lowry’s painting.

The £50 million development is part of a massive regeneration project taking place along Glasgow’s riverbanks. The site of the new museum is where the Clyde and the Kelvin rivers meet.

David Barrie, Director, National Art Collections Fund, said: “This painting will give visitors to the new Riverside Museum a vivid reminder of the changes which the Glasgow Docks have seen over the last 60 years. It could not have found a more fitting home and we are delighted to have helped the city acquire it.”

Glasgow’s civic collection already includes a number of Lowry’s works but the latest acquisition is the first to depict a Scottish location. Other works owned by the city include VE Day, Seascape, A Village Square, and River Scene, all of which were painted between 1940 and 1950.

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