The University of Salford has been collecting artworks since the late 1960s.  The early collecting policies were quite broad – but mainly included post-war British painting, print-making, and later, photography. In particular, works with a connection to Salford or Greater Manchester were acquired – including examples by Northern school painters (Adolphe Valette, L.S. Lowry, Harold Riley) and Prints from the Manchester Print Workshop (Adrian Henri, Kip Gresham).

Over the years the collection has evolved – for example we have an extensive collection of works by expressionist painter Albert Adams and a number of works by the Young British Artists (YBAs).  

Since 2013, the aim of the collecting policy has been to tell ‘the story of now’ through working in collaboration with contemporary artists and arts organisations across the North West of England and beyond.  The University actively commissions and acquires work focusing on three strands: About the DigitalChinese Contemporary Art and From the North. We are also building a body of work by our students and alumni through opportunities such as the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor Portraits and our Scholarship Programme.

At the University of Salford there are also three public art sculptures. On the Peel Park campus located adjacent to the New Adelphi Building there is Engels’ Beard (2016) by Jai Redman and on Frederick Road campus there is the Clasp (2007) by Karen Lyons located outside the Mary Seacole building and Untitled (1966) by William Mitchell outside the Allerton Building.

The University of Salford’s vision is that by pioneering exceptional industry partnerships the organisation will lead the way in real world experiences, preparing students for life. The University has the New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery, which hosts rotating exhibitions from the Collection. However, most acquisitions or commissions are developed in collaboration and shown offsite before entering the Collection, thereby embedding the work of the University within the arts infrastructure, regionally, nationally and internationally. This in turn allows the Collection to be ambitious and seek a greater impact for staff, students and the public.

The University of Salford Art Collection Museums Accreditation award was renewed by Arts Council England in 2016.

What’s in Store? exhibition catalogue
In 2017, as part of the University of Salford 50th anniversary, What’s in Store? at Salford Musueum and Art Gallery exhibited a selection of work from the University’s Art Collection. The exhibition charted the history and breadth of the Collection.

PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art exhibition catalogue. 
At the beginning of 2018 the Art Collection exhibited its entire Chinese Contemporary Art Collection at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, as part of the city’s China Dream season.

About the Digital

Artworks about or made using digital technologies.

Mishka Henner, Mishka Henner Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas, 2013-14
Mishka Henner, Cedar Point Oil Field, Harris County, Texas, 2013-14. © Mishka Henner. Image courtesy of Carroll / Fletcher.

New Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art

Artworks by contemporary Chinese artists.

A video installation showing a woman in a supermarket. The screen is in a basement with speakers at either side and exposed pipes on the ceiling.
Cao Fei, Haze and Fog, 2013. Installation shot at St. George's Hall, Liverpool. Photograph by Pete Carr.

From the North

Artworks by artists from or based in the north of England.

Sarah Hardacre, Arms Open to Welcome the Sun, 2012. Image courtesty of the artist and Paul Stolper Gallery, London.


University of Salford Chancellor and Vice Chancellor portraits by our staff and students.

Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan (2014). Image courtesy of photographer. Photograph of side profile of a woman (Irene Khan) with plants in the background.
Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan, 2014.
Image courtesy of artist.


A collection including late pop, optical and abstract artworks.

Pat Flynn, Cheese Selection, 2015.
Image courtesy of artist and The International 3.

Albert Adams

Works by the South African expressionist painter.

Albert Adams, Wild Animal Drinking Water, 2013.
Image courtesy of Edward Glennon and the Art Fund.