Iconic Football Art on Display

A selection of highlights from the National Football Museum’s surprising art collection have gone on display in Manchester for the first time.

Exhibited as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures project ‘The Art Of Football’, this small selection of highlights from the museum’s collection features a range of art that takes football as its inspiration.

A number of artworks displayed are from 1953; the same year L.S. Lowry’s iconic Going To The Match won the inaugural Football And Fine Arts competition arranged by The FA and the newly-formed Arts Council.

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Gerald Cains on Saturday Taxpayers (1953)

On Tuesday 14th of April Sally Hawley and John O’Shea travelled to Bristol’s Royal West of England Academy to meet with Gerald Cains – painter of “Saturday Taxpayers”.

Using a small digital sound recorder we conducted some oral history recordings relating to:

  • Gerald’s memory of the 1953 exhibition
  • his inspiration for this specific work
  • the development of his painting in the time since then (including his entry to 2006/07’s One Love exhibition at the Lowry in Salford)
  • his thoughts regards football as a topic for art

The interview took a little over an hour and the resulting recordings have been added to an archive folder on our server for further research. Published below is is short excerpt where Gerald Cains describes his initial inspiration for the work Saturday Taxpayers”:

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Saturday Taxpayers, Gerald Cains

Art History – Part 2 (discussion)

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”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/saturday-taxpayers-228850

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Researching the Existing Collection

Sally Hawley, Collections Officer at National Football Museum has been assigned as the main point of contact between the project and the NFM collection and has begun some preliminary research in order to:

  • Identify specific 1953 related items, history and artists represented within our collections and available to us on loan.
  • What existing print items do we have? What are their materials? etc.
  • What are the storage, conservation and display needs around:
    • paintings
    • illustrations
    • prints

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