The Campus Art Collection began to develop soon after the foundation of the University when it commissioned portraits of distinguished University figures. There are portraits of Chancellors, Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors which start with our founder Sir Josiah Mason and continue to chart the progression through to the present day. Other notable figures from University life are commemorated in paintings and sculptures which hang in relevant departments.
Since the 1960s the collection has developed through commission, purchase, loan and gift to include a variety of styles and genres of work by many acclaimed artists, such as Barbara Hepworth, Eduardo Paolozzi and John Bratby. This growth was achieved through the dedication of University staff, including Professors Janusz Kolbuszewski and Anthony Lewis, Angus Skene and Kenneth Garlick. Together they laid the foundations of the collections with commissions and acquisitions of work by artists including William Gear and Peter Lanyon. Their example encouraged the University to continue to foster the art collections during the 1990s, adding works by artists such as Sonia Lawson, Julian Meredith, and Austin Wright. The collection has continued to grow in the 2000s, with the addition of works by Dinah Prentice, David Prentice, Jennifer McRae, and others.
The collection is displayed throughout departments and spaces, and across the campuses in Edgbaston, Selly Oak, and Stratford-upon-Avon.