Arts collection

You’ll find works from the University’s rich and varied arts and crafts collection across Loughborough University’s main campus. There are landscape paintings, modernist sculptures, portraits, digital works, textiles, busts, prints, furniture (some of it in everyday use!) and more.

Artists include well-known figures such as Bridget Riley, Lynn Chadwick, John Bratby and Edward Bawden; current and former students; and staff members from throughout the University’s history.

New works regularly enter the collection, including the winners of the annual Edward Sharp Prize – which celebrates outstanding works from the University’s Degree Show – and works commissioned by LU Arts and Radar.

You can find more information on many of our sculptures through the University sculpture trail, which guides you through the heart of our Loughborough campus via many of the fascinating works on display. You can also view information on some of our sculptures and our oil paintings via ArtUK.

If you work at the University and would like to know about work that is available for public or private display, please email luarts@lboro.ac.uk.

The Stewart Mason era

Many works in the University’s collection were purchased by Leicestershire Education Authority under the auspices of Stewart Mason, the county’s Director of Education from 1947-71. He was a progressive educator with a keen interest in contemporary art, and would buy or commission works to accompany new building projects.

Of particular interest are the many sculptures he chose, including Lynn Chadwick’s The Watchers, Bernard Schottlander’s Abstract and Peter Peri’s Spirit of Technology. Mason was also responsible for the acquisition of many paintings, including works by John Bratby and Frank Avray Wilson; and prints, including works by John Piper and Edward Bawden.

Many of these were featured in the 1967-68 exhibition ‘British Sculpture and Painting from the Leicestershire Education Authority’ at London’s Whitechapel Gallery.

Handicrafts

Our collection features many wonderful examples of furniture made in the Cotswold Arts and Crafts tradition by students of Loughborough College, the forerunner of the University. Produced from the 1930s-60s under the guidance of leading furniture makers including Edward Barnsley, Ernest Gimson and Peter Waals, this included furniture for management offices, student halls of residence and cafeterias.

The latter are still in use in cafes in Martin Hall and the Edward Herbert Building, whilst chairs and desks can be found in offices around the campus and are used for graduation ceremonies. LU Arts’ Office in Martin Hall features many interesting pieces and has been designed in response to this tradition by Giles Round.

Find out more about the handicrafts tradition at Loughborough.

Staff and student artworks

Current and former staff and student artworks are well-represented in the collection. This includes paintings, prints and sculptures by Edward Sharp Prize winners; sculptures by Paul Wager, Michael Dan Archer and Lorraine Young; and a limited-edition print by Bridget Riley, who taught art at what was then Loughborough College of Art in 1959.

Future plans

After a thorough cataloguing exercise over the summer of 2019 we’re now working on improving interpretation and restoring some works to their full glory so that the University’s students, staff and visitors can better appreciate the work in our collection.

Further reading

  • Cantor, Leonard (1990) Loughborough University of Technology: Past and Present. Loughborough: Loughborough University of Technology.
  • Carruthers, Annette (1992) Edward Barnsley and his Workshop: Arts and Crafts in the Twentieth Century. Wendlebury: White Cockade Publishing.
  • Cavanagh, Terry & Yarrington, Alison (2000) Public Sculpture of Leicestershire and Rutland. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
  • Greensted, Mary (1991) Gimson and the Barnsleys: Wonderful Furniture of a commonplace Kind. Stoud: Alan Sutton Publishing
  • Penfold, John (1987). ‘From Handicraft to Craft Design and Technology’, Studies in Design Education, Craft and Technology, 20(1): 34-48.
  • Whitechapel Gallery and Loughborough University of Technology (1967) British Sculpture and Painting From the Collection of the Leicestershire Education Authority. London: Whitechapel Gallery.