The Society for Education through Art, established in 1947, held annual exhibitions in London under the title of ‘Pictures for Schools’. Local Authority Directors of Education and Art Advisers were invited to buy artworks which were then loaned to Schools. Other purchasers included individual primary and secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges. Among the most popular works were the evocative paintings by J K Long depicting industrial scenes in Barnsley and Nottingham and images of people going about their daily lives. This work was originally bought for the collection of Coventry College of Education before its merger with the University of Warwick in 1978.
Long's painting in the Warwick collection presents a somewhat grim impression of industrial Britain in the late 1950s, the compressed composition and sombre colours creating a charged and oppressive atmosphere.