Originally founded as New Hall, Murray Edwards College was founded in 1954 for women students at Cambridge University at a time when Cambridge had the lowest proportion of women undergraduates of any university in the UK.
The Women’s Art Collection is the largest collection of art by women in Europe and is on display across Grade II listed buildings designed by Chamberlin, Bonn and Powell in 1962 as a manifesto for women. The Women’s Art Collection has evolved through gifts and loans from artists and alumnae since 1986. It is a growing body of over 500 works of varying media and is of international, national and regional interest enabling audiences to trace movements over more than 50 years, a period during which women have achieved unprecedented prominence in the visual arts. Artists such as Judy Chicago, Maggi Hambling, Lubaina Himid, Mary Kelly, and Dame Paula Rego have donated works. An Arts Council accredited collection it is publicly accessible and free to visit.
Murray Edwards College's role as a women's college and its sympathetic setting for contemporary art were determining factors in the establishment of a collection of work by women. The calibre of works received, the support of the artists, public and media interest and rich cultural content have prompted recognition of its growing cultural significance. Today, the Collection celebrates artists who identify as women by giving them visibility and a voice and promoting their work within the ethos of a College for women dedicated to gender equality.
The Women’s Art Collection is open from 10am to 6pm every day. Visitors can collect a self-guided tour from the Porters Lodge (located inside the main entrance) or can engage with the Collection via the public programme or online.
Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0DF England
01223 762 100
Before making a visit, check opening hours with the venue