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 almost 900 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’. Underlying our thematic strands is a commitment to sustainability, artist development, and EDI. The majority of our work is now acquired through an ambitious ‘commission to collect’ scheme, often with key industry partners.

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).

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.

You can browse a selection of works from the Collection under the strands below, which will take you through to our beta digital catalogue, 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. 

Rachel Maclean, Again and Again and Again, from It’s What’s Inside That Counts, 2016. Still from digital video.
Cao Fei, Haze and Fog, 2013. Installation shot at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool. Photograph by Pete Carr.
Mandy Payne, In Limbo (2017). Spray paint, oil paint, tape, archival matt varnish on concrete. © Mandy Payne.
Willow Rowlands, A Way of organising a Pig, 2015. Installation photograph by Steve Iles.