Visit the Chapman Gallery to see the highlights of our fascinating and eclectic Art Collection, which introduces twenty key pieces. Located at the heart of the Main Building, the Chapman Gallery occupies the former Main Reception to the University.
Evolution of the collection
Its architecture bears witness to the institution's incredible evolution – for over sixty years this was the gateway into the Hatfield Technical College, then Hatfield Polytechnic and then the University of Hertfordshire. Similarly, the Art Collection charts the institution's evolution from the five stunning founding artworks by Reg Butler, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Trevor Tennant in 1952, to successive artworks donated or purchased over the decades.
One of the founding works, The Oracle (1952) by Reg Butler has returned to the space for which it was originally commissioned. By contrast, recent acquisitions are introduced, including impressive portraits of past Vice Chancellors by Brendan Kelly and a stunning photograph by Noémie Goudal, Southern Light Station II (2015), presented by the Contemporary Art Society.
Comprising over 500 artworks, the UH Art Collection features 13 impressive external sculptures and a portfolio of paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, ceramics and mixed-media works. Deliberately dispersed in publically accessible sites across the Bio Park, College Lane and de Havilland Campuses, it seeks to enhance the university environment by introducing modern and contemporary art in places where people study, work and visit. The collection offers fresh subjects and alternative perspectives that invite viewers to think and question beyond their chosen disciplines.
The Chapman Gallery is located on the first floor the Main Building, College Lane and is signposted from the Main Reception.