The Art of Football” is a working title for a four year project to develop the National Football Museum’s art collection through the acquisition of priority works, inspired by or depicting football.

Key areas of work to be undertaken include:

  • the development a new contemporary art collections policy for NFM
  • research into the recent phenomena of public-realm art referencing football
  • the creation of a completely new collection of artist’s video and new media work relating to football

The project is now led by Emma Hadley, Art Research Officer for the project at the National Football Museum in Manchester, UK (previously in post was John O’Shea).

Further to this, the project will encompass staff training, collections management and the development of stronger relationships with partner art organisations.  Aspects of Art of Football will be devised working in liaison with Prof. Mike O’Mahony at the University of Bristol, History of Art Department as well as further invited academic and institutional colleagues as the project develops.

The project will take as its starting point the seminal Football and the Fine Arts Competition (won by L. S. Lowry in 1953) and the resulting research & new acquisitions will be highlighted during 2017 with an exhibition at National Football Museum celebrating the art and imagery of the world’s favourite sport.


The Art of Football is a Collecting Cultures project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The lead partner is National Football Museum, based at Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG.

The project was developed in partnership with Prof. Mike O’Mahony at University of Bristol, History of Art Department, Senate House, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TH, UK.

Further partners and contributors will be listed here as the project develops.

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi do you have a copy of the catalogue for the 1953 football and the fine art competition. My father Stanley Robert Jones exhibited a picture “Final Whistle” that was highly commended. My father sadly passed away on 9th July this year aged 90 years. I would love to find an image of the picture he exhibited. We have copies of drawings he has done for paintings of the old Bramall Lane ground in Sheffield but nothing of his competition entry. Best regards, Tim Jones

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  2. Hi Tim, thank you for getting in touch. I am sorry to hear about the passing of your father this year. I do have access to a photocopy of the 1953 catalogue, so I will send you an email on Monday with anything I can help you with (I work Mon-Weds so don’t have it with me at the moment). I would also love to see an image of the drawings! Thanks again for your comment and I will be in touch on Monday. Best wishes, Emma.

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