Theodore Major artwork for sale and artist biography
Theodore Major was born in humble circumstances in Wigan, Lancashire, settling there from 1950 with his painter wife, Kathleen at Appley Bridge. He attended the local art school between 1927-1932, and taught there between 1930-1950.
In 1951, the Arts Council held a travelling exhibition featuring the work of two of Lancashire's best and most prominent artists. One was ... href="https://artshaus.co.uk/artists/l-s-lowry">LS Lowry, the other was Theodore Major. Lowry developed national and international fame and became a national treasure, Major became largely forgotten.
While Lowry cultivated the commercial gallery system assiduously, Major withdrew from the commercial world and began to refuse to sell his pictures. He was entirely opposed to materialism, the commercial gallery system and the sale of his pictures to rich collectors. He retained about 3000 of his pictures which he said were painted for ordinary people, not money.
Major is noted for his grim depictions of Wigan streets and factories, pictures of children, of lonely seascapes, of nudes and nightmare imaginations. Art critic John Berger called Major’s pictures “among the best English paintings of our time” He painted in a wide range of styles “to disturb and extend consciousness in the mind of the viewer”.
He exhibited in Nottingham, Bolton, Manchester and had Arts Council sponsored solo exhibitions at Carlisle and Blackburn Art Galleries and in 1984 at Salford Art Gallery which holds his work.
Since his death, Major's reputation has been in the ascendancy. Retrospectives of his work were held at Salford Museum and Art Gallery in 2003 and Gallery Oldham in 2008. In 2015 the Atkinson Gallery held a joint exhibition - LS Lowry and Theodore Major: Two Lancashire Painters - reprising the 1951 show and cementing Major's status as one of the most important Lancashire artists of the 20th Century. His paintings are increasingly prized and highly valued.