Campus Art Collection

The Campus Art Collection features sculpture, paintings, prints, drawings and photographs. It originated with the foundation of the University in 1900, as a growing collection of portraits of distinguished University figures in oil, marble and bronze. Over the course of the following century the scope of the collection has evolved considerably and includes primarily modern and contemporary public art.

Faraday by Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), 2000

Faraday, Eduardo Paolozzi (1924 - 2005) 2000

Site-specific installations of exceptional quality, unique to the University of Birmingham, include works by Peter Lanyon, John Walker, Peter Randall-Page and Eduardo Paolozzi. The collection also features works by well-known British artists such as John Bratby, Barbara Hepworth, Sonia Lawson, Jacob Epstein and Vanley Burke. A work of particular significance is the portrait of ʿAbd al-Wāḥid bin Masʿūd bin Muḥammad bin ʿAnūrī, 1600, which depicts the earliest portrait of a person of Islamic faith painted in England who inspired Shakespeare’s Othello.

The collection has grown through a combination of bequests, gifts, commissions, artist residencies and acquisitions programmes. National and international loans in and out of the collection bring exciting new artworks to campus audiences and share the University’s collections with the wider world. Art is on display throughout the campus, in University buildings and the campus parkland.

For further collection history, see our Collections Development Policy.

You can explore this collection online through various channels.