The McManus has a fine and applied art collection that is recognised as being of national significance. Its rich and varied collection ranges from Scottish 19th and 20th-century paintings to fine art prints, drawings and photography. These are shown in annually changing displays. A recent contemporary collecting initiative has focused on acquiring works of international quality including pieces by Ruth Ewan, Wolfgang Tillmans, Moyna Flannigan and Graham Fagen. The applied art collection includes significant holdings of studio ceramics and glass by contemporary makers.