Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequent questions we get asked:

How was the Art Gallery and the collection formed?

Established in 1884 Wolverhampton Art Gallery was developed by Phillip Horseman who offered to build the Art Gallery on donated council land.

The Art Gallery had collected over 400 works of art by the end of the century and by the 1920s and 1930s saw an increase in purchases of paintings and enamels, which have contributed to major collections areas. The 1960s and 1970s saw the appointment of a curator who began the prestigious Pop and contemporary collections which Wolverhampton is renowned for today.

The Art Gallery building has continually changed over the years with the old art school section converted into new education spaces. In the 1990s the Art Gallery saw upgrades to the main building with increased gallery space and office space.

The next phase of development includes a new triangular gallery dedicated to the Pop art collection and contemporary collection, which will open in 2007.

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How many objects and artworks are there in your collection?

There are over 12,000 items in our collection ranging from decorative art to fine art and geology.

The fine art collections span over three hundred years including Georgian, Victorian, Pop and Contemporary Art. There are also a wide range of decorative arts including Asian art, Japanned ware, British Enamels and Dolls and Toys.

To find out more about our collections please go to collections page.

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What is your exhibition policy?

Reviewed in 2005, our exhibitions policy reflects the continuously changing environment in which galleries exist.

Our aim is to present at least four new exhibitions per year, collaborating across the various disciplines in the sector to achieve maximum impact on our audiences.

We programme using a magazine approach meaning we display a balanced range of exhibitions including historical, issue led, collections, and interactive based themes.

Working closely with schools and the community we aim to address social inclusion, introducing partner organisations to support and develop this area of work.

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Do you exhibit work by local artists?

Part of the reviewed exhibition’s policy is to continue our aim to support the work of local and regional artists.

We aim to provide a biennale open exhibition for artists to apply, the first starting in 2008. An exhibition by the Wolverhampton Society of Artists will be on display on alternating years. For more information on how to join please go to

We are also continuing to build relationships with the School of Art and Design at Wolverhampton University, supporting graduates and under-graduates in their professional development.

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Can I hire Wolverhampton Art Gallery for a party or meeting?

Once the next phase of the Art Gallery has been completed in early 2007, there will be opportunities for both the public and businesses to hire the venue for future events.

There will also be meeting room facilities available for hire in 2007 with refreshments available to order.

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Do you have a research facility?

The next phase of development at the Art Gallery will see the creation of a new research facility.

Funding has now been secured and work will begin in 2006 to create a dedicated space for staff and visitors to explore Wolverhampton’s vast collection of objects and artworks.

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Can I take photographs or use a video camera?

Permission for photography and video filming is required at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and is subject to the completion of a photography form.

Please obtain your form from the Information desk at the main entrance.

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Can I become a volunteer?

There are great opportunities for dedicated volunteers who want to get some experience working in the galleries sector. Experiences range from curatorial, collections, and education sectors.

Please write to the gallery with your CV and interest area.

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