Art is celebrated throughout Durham University, in our own collections, visiting exhibitions and student art across all media. Artwork also forms an important part of the Palatine Centre, complementing the public art on display in the surrounding area. Two major commissions are displayed in the Palatine Centre - mural painting Crystal Forms and sculpture Elvet Colliery.
The original 30-metre long Crystal Forms mural was created for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and displayed in the Regatta Restaurant on the South Bank, London. The original, by John Tunnard, was destroyed at the end of the Festival and the mural in the Palatine reception area has been re-imagined and painted by the Northumberland-born artist David Venables. Elvet Colliery, by County-Durham based artist Peter Sales, depicts the mining activity on the site of the Palatine Centre in the 19th Century. The sculpture, displayed in the Palatine Centre restaurant, acknowledges and commemorates the importance of coal mining in Durham in the economic fortunes of the area.
The art displayed throughout the Palatine Centre is designed to showcase some of the best of the University’s collection. Durham University houses the largest collection of 20th Century art of any university in the UK.
The Oriental Museum is dedicated soley to the art and archaelology of the Orient with designated collections of international importance, including it's Egyptian Gallery and Chinese collection. Both this museum and the Old Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology, host touring art, textile and photography exhibtions.
The newly refurbished Wolfson Gallery within Palace Green Library, is a wonderful exhibition space which will host a regularly changing programme of exhibtions. It has been launched with the exhibition 'Treasures of Durham University', highlighting art and artefacts taken from the University's own stunning collections.
The student Art Society mounts exhibitions of their work and many of the colleges play host to the works of local, national and international artists.
We have an active Photography Society, and several of our colleges have their own darkrooms, including Stephenson at Queen's Campus and Grey, Hild Bede and St Cuthbert's in Durham City. At John Snow College, Queen's Campus there is also a dedicated and spacious art room, providing lots of opportunity for artistic creativity.