The University of Salford has been collecting artworks since the late 1960s and exists for the benefit of staff, students and the public.  The Collection contains around 700 items which are stored and displayed on campus and are available for loan to museums and galleries in the UK and internationally.

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 ‘a 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.

Exhibition catalogues can be found on our Publications and resources page.

About the Digital

Artworks about or made using digital technologies.

4 yellow faced figures with wearing eyemasks (with pictures of eyes on the masks) stand with their hands together as if praying.
Rachel Maclean, Again and Again and Again, from It's What's Inside That Counts, 2016. Still from digital video. Courtesy the artist. Co-commissioned by HOME, University of Salford Art Collection and Channel 4 Random Acts.

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 courtesy 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.

Patrick Caulfield, Banana with Leaves. © The Estate of Patrick Caulfield. All rights reserved, DACS 2019. Photograph courtesy of Museum Photography Northwest.

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.