Arts Council Collection

Hayward Gallery’s management of the Arts Council Collection adds a diverse range of exhibitions to Hayward Touring’s UK-wide programme. 

About the Arts Council Collection

The Arts Council Collection includes nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists which can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country. The Collection was founded in 1946, to promote and encourage the appreciation of contemporary art through touring exhibitions, and continues to acquire innovative works each year. 

Since 1986 the Arts Council Collection has been managed by the Hayward Gallery on behalf of Arts Council England. It is based at the Southbank Centre and at Longside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

visit the Arts Council Collection website


The Arts Council Collection purchases innovative work by artists living in Britain, with a focus on emerging artists. These acquisitions are made through a committee of eight individuals: four internal and four external, with the external advisers - usually an artist, a writer and a curator - appointed for a fixed two-year tenure. For particularly ambitious acquisitions, the Collection has in the past received support from the Henry Moore Foundation, The Art Fund and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

National Partners Programme

Supported by Arts Council England and Southbank Centre, the National partners programme sees the Arts Council Collection work with four major non-London galleries to curate and host innovative new exhibitions until June 2019. The galleries - Birmingham Museums Trust, Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne - have been selected to extend the Collection’s reach across the country.

further information