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Being “famous” is not a fixed thing. If you grew up in Britain, you may have heard of European artists like Dali and Monet. If you grew up in Indonesia, you would have learnt about different famous artists at school.


Fame also changes as time moves on. When we are talking about “famous” artists it doesn’t mean they are better than other artists, simply they have been given more attention.


A lot of artists who have been called “famous” are men. For much of history, men have labelled other men as important or famous. Over the last 50 years, people have challenged this by giving more attention to other artists like women, BAME and people with disabilities.

17 artworks
Allow Your Friends to Meet Your Enemies
© the artist. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Allow Your Friends to Meet Your Enemies 2011

Lubaina Himid (b.1954)

Acrylic, pencil & magazine clipping on paper

H 74.5 x W 95 cm

Gallery Oldham

E. O. W. on Her Blue Eiderdown
© the artist. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

E. O. W. on Her Blue Eiderdown 1963

Frank Helmuth Auerbach (b.1931)

Oil on canvas

H 47 x W 54 cm

Gallery Oldham

Circe
Photo credit: Bridgeman Images

Circe 1891

John William Waterhouse (1849–1917)

Oil on canvas

H 148 x W 92 cm

Gallery Oldham

Barnet Fair, Hertfordshire
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Barnet Fair, Hertfordshire 1930

Walter Richard Sickert (1860–1942)

Oil on canvas

H 73.5 x W 61 cm

Gallery Oldham

Husband and Wife
© Estate of Howard Hodgkin. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Husband and Wife 1963

Howard Hodgkin (1932–2017)

Oil on panel

H 46 x W 64 cm

Gallery Oldham

Thomas Oldham Barlow
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Thomas Oldham Barlow

John Everett Millais (1829–1896)

Oil on canvas

H 100.5 x W 117 cm

Gallery Oldham

The First Madness of Ophelia
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

The First Madness of Ophelia 1864

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)

Watercolour & gum arabic on paper

H 39.4 x W 29.2 cm

Gallery Oldham

Bellinzona – The Bridge over Ticino
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Bellinzona – The Bridge over Ticino c.1842

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)

Watercolour & pencil on paper

H 23 x W 33 cm

Gallery Oldham

Birdman
© The Executors of the Frink Estate and Archive. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Birdman early 1960s

Elisabeth Frink (1930–1993)

Bronze

H 82 x W 21 x D 21 cm

Gallery Oldham

Scarlet and Green in Brown, November, 1961
© the estate of Patrick Heron. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Scarlet and Green in Brown, November, 1961 1961

Patrick Heron (1920–1999)

Oil on canvas

H 74 x W 100 cm

Gallery Oldham

Dame Sarah Lees (1842–1935)
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Dame Sarah Lees (1842–1935) before 1912

Hugh Goldwin Riviere (1869–1956)

Oil on canvas

H 350 x W 145 cm

Gallery Oldham

A Lover of Dickens
© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

A Lover of Dickens 1947

Charles Spencelayh (1865–1958)

Oil on canvas

H 59 x W 49.5 cm

Gallery Oldham

A White Slave
© the estate of Sir Alfred Munnings, Dedham, Essex. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

A White Slave 1904

Alfred James Munnings (1878–1959)

Oil on canvas

H 99 x W 150 cm

Gallery Oldham

Two Great Temples at Paestum
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Two Great Temples at Paestum 1782

John Robert Cozens (1752–1799)

Watercolour, pencil & ink on paper

H 25 x W 37 cm

Gallery Oldham

This Leprous Brightness
© courtesy Corvi-Mora, London. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

This Leprous Brightness 2011

Imran Qureshi (b.1972)

Opaque watercolour on wasli paper

H 26 x W 34 cm

Gallery Oldham

Small Mollington Knot Cushion
© the artist. Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Small Mollington Knot Cushion 1973

Ann Sutton (b.1935)

Wool & polyester

H 35 x W 49 x D 17 cm

Gallery Oldham

Along the Shore
Photo credit: Gallery Oldham

Along the Shore 1914

Joseph Edward Southall (1861–1944)

Tempera on silk

H 53.3 x W 36.8 cm

Gallery Oldham