The collection is primarily of British art from the 19th-century to the present, with some earlier works of 18th-century watercolours and drawings, Japanese prints and local views.
The collection includes a significant number of works by members of the Camden Town Group and paintings by British artists including Francis Bacon, LS Lowry, Frank Auerbach, Trevor Bell, Terry Frost, David Bomberg, Roger Hilton and Ivon Hitchens.
There is a small selection of sculpture, including works by Henry Moore, Carl Plackman, Jacob Epstein and a more recent purchase from Stefan Gec. In recent years Huddersfield has acquired contemporary paintings by Amikam Toren, Arturo Di Stefano, Tom Wood and Chris Gollon.
In developing the craft collection over the years, the curators have focused on ceramics by the Yorkshire potters. There are an additional number of smaller collections of jewellery, textiles and carved wood. Works from the permanent collection are featured in a series of themed exhibitions throughout the year.
An impressive art deco building, make your way past the faded 1970s décor of the town’s library up to the third floor to the gallery. The stairway is filled with work from the contemporary collection. It is worth noting that the wonderful early Bacon was gifted by the Contemporary Art Society after it was rejected by Tate which, at the time, had felt Bacon not to have been an important artist.