The University of Salford Art Collection exists for the benefit of staff, students and the public. Founded in the late 1960’s, it now includes over 700 modern and contemporary works which are displayed on campus, including at our New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery, as well as through loans to UK & international museums and galleries.

Early collecting mainly included post-war British painting, print-making, and, later, photography. In particular, works with a connection to Salford and Greater Manchester were collected. Later, a number of works by the YBAs (Young British Artists) were acquired, alongside a special collection by expressionist painter Albert Adams

Today, the Collection actively commissions and acquires contemporary work under three key interconnected strands, introduced in 2013: About the Digital, From the North, and Chinese Contemporary Art, together aiming to tell a ‘story of now’. We also work closely with the School of Arts and Media to support students and alumni, through our Portrait commissions, Scholarship scheme, and other opportunities.

Artists in the collection include: Rachel Maclean, Thomson & Craighead, Mishka Henner, Christian Marclay (About the Digital); Cao Fei, Li Binyuan, Yang Yongliang, Sun Xun (Chinese Contemporary Art); L.S. Lowry, Adolphe Valette, Sarah Hardacre, Rachel Goodyear (From the North); and Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume (Print collection).

You can browse a selection of works from the Collection under the strands below, or click here to read more about the collection’s history, and future. You can also find more images of our painting, sculpture and print-making based works at Art UK, the home for the nations’ public art collections. 

About the Digital

Rachel Maclean, Again and Again and Again, from It's What's Inside That Counts, 2016. Still from digital video

Chinese Contemporary Art

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

Mandy Payne, In Limbo (2017). Spray paint, oil paint, tape, archival matt varnish on concrete. © Mandy Payne.
Mandy Payne, In Limbo (2017). Spray paint, oil paint, tape, archival matt varnish on concrete. © Mandy Payne.

Graduate Scholars

Willow Rowlands, A Way of organising a Pig (installation shot: Steve Iles)

History of the Collection

a small oil painting by artist adolphe valette. The image depicts a peaceful rural landscape scene with green fields, trees, and a brick building.
Adolphe Valette, Romiley, 1916. Photograph: Photography North West.


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.


Blue background. Foreground a rainbow pegged on a washing line.
Patrick Hughes, Wet Rainbow, 1979. Courtesy of Patrick Hughes and Flowers Gallery, London and New York. Museum Photography North West.

Public Sculpture

Photograph of an outdoor sculpture of the head of Friedrich Engels.
Jai Redman, Engels' Beard, 2016. Photograph by Nick Harrison.

Special collection: Albert Adams

A black and white photograph of African-Indian artist Albert Adams, likely in his 20s at the time, sat in front of a large semi abstract, semi figurative painting in the studio.
In the studio. Image (c) the artist's estate.