Gallery Oldham: Patti Mayor 150 | Oldham Council
Published: Wednesday, 07th September 2022

Gallery Oldham’s latest exhibition celebrates artist and campaigner Patti Mayor on the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Born in Preston in 1872, Patti was a portrait painter who is best known for creating images of working women and girls.

One of these paintings, Mill Girl with a Shawl was bequeathed by the artist to Oldham after her death in 1962 and it has been a favourite with visitors ever since.

In this exhibition it will hang with other paintings on loan from the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool and the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, who also are running events this year to celebrate Patti’s birth.

In addition to her exceptional skill as a portrait painter, Patti was an active participant in the fight for women’s rights including the right to vote.

Her work as an activist artist saw her march from Preston to London in 1908, carrying an oil painting of one of these working women as she walked, proclaiming that Preston women must get the vote.

Her paintings and activism demonstrated an appreciation for the working-class women at a time when their labour was undervalued.

In the years since Patti used her art to call for change, many other artists have followed suit.

This exhibition will also feature artwork from the Gallery Oldham collection by other artists who have called for change or have made political statements.

The artworks and statements are varied in both scope and scale. They work to showcase the different and dynamic messages found within the collection.

Councillor Elaine Taylor, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Patti Mayor was a real campaigner for women's rights - something our town has always been at the forefront of, thanks to residents such as our very own Annie Kenney.

“So, we are pleased Gallery Oldham can help mark the birthdate of such a pioneer.

“Patti's portraits are remarkable and thanks to the other artists on show this promises to be a powerful exhibition.”

Patti Mayor 150 opens on 10 September and runs until January 28, 2023.

There is a free Curator Talk on 14 September via Zoom. For more information and how to book visit

For more information about Patti Mayor visit

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