The original policy of the gallery was to collect mainly British art that portrays life and landscape. Abstract art first began to be collected in 1963; the gallery has also gathered a collection of Expressionist and Modernist works.
The craft collection consists of approximately two hundred and fifty works, including a diverse mix of ceramics and bronzes from China, Korea, Japan, the Middle East and North America. There are several pieces of Arts and Crafts ware and a small selection of Art Deco ceramics as well as a collection of textiles and folk art.
The new development of buildings has created large gallery spaces for the engaging temporary exhibition programme.
The lofty contemporary entrance leads through to a reception and shop. The Peace and Reconciliation gallery is the first of a number of galleries. Upstairs the modern collection is hung in interesting groups and includes studies for the Sutherland tapestry commissioned for Coventry Cathedral. A visit to the museum in combination with the nearby Cathedral is a must.