Arthur Berry (1925-1994)
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Arthur Berry was born 1925 in Smallthorne, North Staffordshire. He studied at Burslem and the RCA.
An early introduction to Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde made a great impression, as did the many new art movements of the time.
He did, however, pursue his own path, with an individual style and means of expressing a deep affinity with the working people and the gritty world of the pit villages where he was born and raised.
Arthur Berry taught at North Staffordshire Polytechnic, Manchester College of Art and Chelsea School of Art and was also a poet and playwrite.
His autobiography “A Three and Sevenpence Halfpenny Man” gives an interesting insight into the events, which impacted on his life. Retrospective exhibitions were held at Stoke on Trent City Museum and Art Gallery in 1984 and The Gallery, Manchester in 1995. A major National Exhibition showcasing Lowry and Berry: Observers of Urban Life was held at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in 2015.
The exhibition sensitively and imaginatively displayed the two northern artists’ work side by side.
Often cited as the ‘Lowry of the Potteries’ Arthur Berry himself would have been thrilled to have his work shown alongside Lowry’s. Discovering the work of Lowry as a painting student at Burslem College of Art he recognised they were born from a world similar to that which he too wanted to paint. Recording the reality of an atmospheric, industrial world filled with factories, terraces and workers, these paintings were like no English paintings he’d seen before. They ‘worked a spell on him’. The characters too were similar but Berry could see their differences clearly.