On Monday 11th July, Philip Mould OBE took a tour around four Laurus Trust secondary schools.

Philip Mould is regarded as one of the best-known figures in the world of art, with his hit BBC One show Fake or Fortune? being the most-watched arts programme on television.

Mould is a successful art dealer, art historian, writer and broadcaster. He owns the Philip Mould & Co art gallery in London, specialising in British art and Old Master paintings for over 35 years.

The tour comes after he generously worked with the Laurus Trust and philanthropist Andrew Law to bring reproductions of famous artworks to the walls of the Trust’s newest secondary schools.

The first stop on the tour was Laurus Cheadle Hulme where Philip Mould and Ellie Smith, researcher at Philip Mould & Co, met with students and discussed three reproductions of famous works of art.

The students were fascinated to hear their discussion of Laurence Stephen Lowry’s Crowther Street, Stockport, Cheshire (1930).

The opportunity to discuss a famous local artist with Mould was one the students appreciated greatly.

One student said: “I found it really interesting. He made me look at these paintings in a new light and notice things I didn’t see before.”

Philip Mould and students discussed Laurence Stephen Lowry’s Crowther Street, Stockport, Cheshire (1930) at Laurus Cheadle Hulme


Next on the tour, it was Laurus Ryecroft. Here, Philip met with students and discussed more interesting works of art.

Of particular note was Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Lady of the Court (1590). Mould encouraged students to ponder what kind of life the painting’s unknown subject may have led.

Philip Mould and students observed Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of a Lady of the Court (1590) at Laurus Ryecroft


Speaking of his own experiences in boarding school as a child, Mould reflected on the importance of art within the curriculum:

“art gave me an alternative form of expression. It was an area where I felt comfortable and felt that I could say things and do things which I couldn’t necessarily do with words.

“I think art is a wonderful alternative for people who are more comfortable with the visual rather than the written.”

Leaving students with much to think about, Mould continued his tour by visiting Didsbury High School.

A group of enthusiastic student ambassadors met with him and toured the artworks together.

The students were especially interested in Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889) and spent a long time discussing how the work made them feel.

Philip painted a picture of Van Gogh’s headspace at the time of the painting, asking them to consider how his emotions were captured in the brushstrokes of his work.

Philip Mould answered questions on Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889) at Didsbury High School


Finally, Mould visited Cheadle Hulme High School and met with Art & Design Sixth Form students.

The students enjoyed discussing their own art with him and hearing his interpretations of their work. It was a memorable experience for all.

Philip Mould sat with Sixth Form students to unravel the meanings behind their work at Cheadle Hulme High School


Now that the reproductions are hung around the schools, Mould is optimistic that pupils will feel inspired to explore their own talents:

“what I hope is that the works of art around these schools will gently work their magic and activate dormant feelings and capabilities.”

In the evening, Philip Mould attended the Apertura closing ceremony for Year 12 students from Cheadle Hulme Sixth Form at HOME Manchester.

Apertura is a Laurus super-curricular programme designed to expose high achieving students to academic dialogue and independent research in preparation for applications to competitive universities.

Through his work with the Laurus Trust, Mould hopes to level the playing field and show students there are abundant opportunities within the Arts:

“art is now a huge business and there are all sorts of careers; curators, transporters, auctioneers, art dealers, critics – you name it. So, it’s actually a really valid career path.”