Having engaged with a range of works on display (see Art History Primer – Part 1) the second part of the day involved a much closer examination, with members of the NFM Collections Team (Dr. Alex Jackson and Sally Hawley) of an item which had been specially brought to Manchester from museum’s collection, (the majority of which is held in Preston).
Gerald Cains’ “Saturday Taxpayers” is a painting which was created for the 1953 “Football and the Fine Arts” exhibition, a collaborative between the Football Association and the newly formed Arts Council of Great Britain and a seminal moment in the history of “football art”.
The students examined and asked questions having no prior knowledge of the work.
Interesting comparisons were drawn between this 1953 scene and Stuart Roy Clarke‘s longstanding documentary photography work of fans and stadia.
Interestingly, the students brought up a whole range of interesting comparisons such as the restrained colour palettes of American painter Edward Hopper and the constrained figures in the sculptures of Alberto Giacametti.
It was very inspiring to see the students discovering more and more details within the work, and for our Collections Team it was a real privilege to spend such an enlightening time with one of our artefacts.