The Biggest Collection of Football Art EVER is coming to Manchester

The exhibition at the National Football Museum will feature many pieces that have never been on public display before in the UK.

By Manchester's Finest | 16 April 2019

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Say what you like about the sport, football is both revered and celebrated across Manchester, whether you’re red or blue, City or United or a bit further out of the city and support Bury, Oldham, Rochdale or Altrincham.

The National Football Museum echoes our love for some blokes kicking a ball around for 90 minutes and have curated an exhibition which captures what artists think of the sport too.

From David Hockney to Paul Nash, the drama, suspense, emotion and passion of the game is all here on display. You can even create your own 3D painting using Google Tilt Brush.

Spanning nearly one hundred years, the exhibition, funded with the help of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is the first time such a wide range of art depicting the game has been brought together in one place, with many having never been on public display in a museum before in the UK.

Paul Nash (1889 – 1946), Pony the Footballer, 1921.

The art is displayed to explore the range of emotions and feelings experienced in football, from the despair of Paul Nash’s Pony the Footballer, to the pride of the Muslim women players depicted in Banned by Jill Illiffe.

Jill Iliffe (b. 1962), Banned, c2007,

Other highlights include Mid-Week Practice at Stamford Bridge, by Laurence Toynbee, which was an equal prize-winner in the 1953 Football and the Fine Arts competition alongside L S Lowry’s Going to the Match.

Football Spectators in Rain is another work submitted as part of the 1953 competition. Afterwards artist Karel Lek rolled the painting up, put it in a drawer and left it there for sixty-five years until someone at the National Football Museum saw a copy in a catalogue, traced Karel and offered to buy it.

Other works include a line drawing Foot-ball Annonciation by French poet, filmmaker and artist Jean Cocteau and an etching Moment of Victory by experimental printmaker Michael Rothenstein (also submitted as part of the 1953 competition).

Jean Cocteau (1889 – 1963), Foot-ball Annonciation, 1923.

This exciting exhibition comes to the National Football Museum on Friday 5th April and runs until October 2019. It’s free of course, like the museums itself but donations are welcomed on arrival.

The question we leave to you is can you spot whether the nature of the game on the pitch is mirrored in these quite spectacular paintings. Art is after all, subjective.


Football is Art

Venue: National Football Museum
Date: From Friday 5th April
Cost: Free

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