With over 7500 works of art spanning more than 60 years, the Collection can be seen in exhibitions and displays at home and abroad, as well as through long-term loans to public buildings across the UK.
The Collection is managed by Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England and is based at The Hayward Gallery in London and at Longside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. As a Collection 'without walls', it has no permanent gallery but a diverse and stimulating range of exhibitions from the Collection, including displays of some of the most recent acquisitions, can be seen at Longside Gallery.
Grayson Perry, The Adoration of the Cage Fighters, 2012. Acquired 2012.
The Collection was formed in 1946 and includes fine examples of work by some of this country’s most prominent artists. The Collection continues to acquire innovative and significant work by emerging artists today through its policy of adventurous and timely acquisitions, responding rapidly to developments in artistic practice. The Arts Council Collection is exemplary in its scope, vitality and eminence and is the most widely circulated of all of Britain's national collections.
Acquisitions are made through a committee of six individuals, usually an artist, a writer, a curator and a senior representative from the Hayward Gallery and Arts Council England. Working on a two-year cycle, the committee makes recommendations to purchase innovative works of art that reflect artistic practice in Britain at that time.
The Acquisitions Committee consists of Jill Constantine (Acting Head of the Arts Council Collection), Rugoff (Director, The Hayward), Natalie Rudd ( Curator, Arts Council Collection) and Peter Heslip (Director, Visual Arts, Arts Council England). The external advisers to the Acquisitions Committee for 2013-2015 are: Alex Farquharson, Director, Nottingham Contemporary; Martin Herbert, Associate Editor, Art Review and Elizabeth Price, Artist.
Barbara Hepworth, Spring, 1966. Acquired 1967.
The Arts Council Collection has acquired a number of works through gifts, the most significant of which have been the Saatchi Gifts. In 1999, the collector Charles Saatchi donated one hundred works of art to the Arts Council Collection, including works in a variety of media by many of the artists who played an essential part in the 'young British Artists' phenomenon of the 1990s. Among the sixty-four artists are Richard Billingham, Glenn Brown, Martin Creed, Siobhán Hapaska, Mariele Neudecker, Jane Simpson and Kerry Stewart. In 2003, Charles Saatchi donated a further thirty-four sculptures to the Collection, including works by Marc Quinn, Gary Webb, Jordan Baseman and Richard Wilson.
Roger Hiorns, Seizure, 2008/2013. Acquired 2011.
The Adoration of the Cage Fighters © the artist. Gift of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Television, the Art Fund and Sfumato Foundation with additional support from AlixPartners
Spring © Bowness, Hepworth Estate
Seizure © the artist. Donated by the artist, Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Art Fund, with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation.