Manchester Art Gallery

The Dinner Hour, Wigan

Object description

A depiction of factory women's dinner hour with women seated on a long wall outside the factory in groups, eating, drinking and chatting. The women are dressed in long skirts and white aprons, some with shawls round their shoulders or pulled up over their heads. Some talk in pairs, one such pair in the centre walk together, one with her arm around her companion's shoulders. On the left, foreground, an older woman bends down to lift up a narrow pail. A girl seated on the wall behind her reads a letter. Two girls, leaning against the wall, bend their heads together and talk in a secretative manner, one has a basket on her arm, a pail in her hand. A woman stands at the end of the wall, on the right, leaning against a lamp post, ready to throw some food to her friend, who has her hands raised in anticipation. More people can be seen in the distance, including a policeman, with a cane, off centre. The scene is set against a background of redbrick factories and chimneys.

Display label

Making it What is it like to be an artist in Manchester? Here we explore the success stories of individuals who are making art, craft and design. In former times the city's wealth attracted artists and the School of Art established its reputation with teachers like Adolphe Valette and Walter Crane. Today there is also a flourishing art scene, with networks of artists' groups and studios and exhibitions spill from galleries into the city. Making It is a changing display of artists and designers past and present. We will be using work selected from our collections and inviting today's artists to showcase their work.