About Universities Art Collections

Universities and their Art Patronage

Few know that many universities can be seen as a real paradise for Art Lovers as well as Centres of Education. University Art Collections highly vary: from those made up of old portraits of past Vice Chancellors to modern and contemporary artworks. Multiple universities invest in their art collections as a side activity, showing exhibitions and even setting up their own galleries.

Why do Universities Collect Art?

Common reasons for Art Collections at Universities: 1/ Showcasing the historical collection and/or herritage of the university; 2/ Wealth management; 3/ Education purposes; 4/ Displaying gifts from donors; 5/ Supporting the cultural and artistic sector.

  • Famous Art Collection at UK Universities

The Ashmolean Museum by the University of Oxford showcases an Art Collection founded in 1683. It is considered as the first University Art Collection in the World. Estabished with the aim of the enhancement in learning, The Fitzwilliam Museum by the University of Cambridge dates back to 1816. Founded by Richard, VII Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion, it belongs to the British National Heritage. The Courtauld Gallery by the Courtauld Institute of Art is renowned for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, and is located in the heart of London at the stunning Somerset House. The Whitworth Art Gallery by the University of Manchester is of international significance, with a permanent collection of over 60,000 artworks. Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts by the University of East Anglia is also worth attention. This collection is said to house some of “the most remarkable works of art assembled in the UK.”

US Universities and Colleges and their Art Collections

In the US, some institutions use art on a more practical level than simply displaying art works they own. The University of Virginia make use of art to teach their medical students pattern recognition and visual analysis as well as patient empathy.

Art as a Reflection of Values

Universities today should continue to recognise the importance of art when it comes to education, inspiration, and creativity within their establishments. At Uart, we believe that these unique Art Collections should not be limited to one audience: students and staff of the university. We believe that art has to be shared. Art collections often reflect values and personality of the institution. 

Universities' Art Collections on Uart

Uart offers a platfrom for sharing Art Collections belonging to Universities from all over the world. We are providing them with a opportunity to present the university’s culture, heritage and values as well as to share the Art with a greater public. The Uart’s Global Map of Art brings the world’s university art collections together, facilitating localisation of the Art Collections.

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