University to rename Manchester School of Art Benzie Building to honour alumnus L.S. Lowry’s legacy

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Featured image: Manchester School of Art

Manchester Metropolitan University is marking its 200th anniversary by honouring one of its most celebrated alumni, L.S. Lowry.

The university is renaming the Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Building the Lowry Building to pay tribute to the legacy of world-renowned artist L.S. Lowry who attended the Manchester School of Art, the second oldest art school in the UK, from 1905 to 1915.

World renowned for painting scenes of the industrial North West, the artist was 17-years-old when he began attending evening classes. He undertook drawing lessons with celebrated impressionist Adolphe Vallette and began to hone his art style.

Alongside the university’s 200th anniversary celebrations, aAh! Magazine celebrated its 10th print issue, The LEGACY Issue, in March which included an honourable mention of the artist.

The new issue was launched as part of a wider exhibition titled ‘The Legacy of Student Magazines’ and featured an illustrated timeline of Manchester’s Met history, celebrating Lowry’s time at the university, as well as other notable historical events.

Lowry’s Manchester School of Art pass was displayed at the exhibition launch, which is now part of the university’s Special Collections Museum archive.

The university will pay tribute to Lowry by renaming the Benzie Building which is the modern home to the Manchester School of Art as the Lowry Building on August 1st, 2024.

Professor Malcolm Press CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Manchester Met has a long history of creative excellence and as we celebrate our 200th anniversary it is appropriate for us to recognise our role in the career of such a world-renowned and much-loved artist as LS Lowry.”

Professor Press explained that Manchester Met provides the skills and expertise that have driven the North West and beyond the industry for the last 200 years.

He added: “Today we are still enabling students to explore their creativity, by providing opportunities to innovate, create, and shape the future across the entire spectrum of the arts. I hope that L.S. Lowry’s name and legacy will continue to inspire future generations of students and researchers”.

As the building is renamed the Lowry Building, the main lecture theatre will also be renamed the David Crow Lecture Theatre. It will carry on the legacy of the former Dean of the School of Art who sadly passed away in 2022.

Professor Martyn Evans, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Director of Manchester School of Art said: “As well as recognising our former student LS Lowry, we also wanted to pay tribute to David Crow, who was loved by colleagues and students and made such an impact on the lives of everyone he met. Naming the main lecture theatre in the Lowry Building after him will ensure his name lives on in a space that he helped create and in which he helped transform so many lives.”

The renaming of the Benzie building is being done with the support and consent of the Estate of L.S. Lowry. Richard Grossick, Director of the Estate of L.S. Lowry said: “It is almost 50 years since the passing of L.S. Lowry in February 1976 and the estate is delighted that he is being celebrated in this way at this time.”

He added: “On numerous occasions Lowry acknowledged the significance and value of his time attending Manchester School of Art to the development of his drawing technique critical to the production and appreciation of his life’s work.”

“We hope that his work continues to inspire future generations in a building dedicated to his memory and central to the future of arts and cultural creativity, regionally, nationally and internationally.”

An event to formally name the Lowry Building and celebrate the artists’ life and work will be held in the autumn.

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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