It was this philosophy that prompted the original decision to budget for works of art to enhance the developing campus; indeed 1% of the cost of each new building was earmarked for art to decorate it in the first phase of University building. In these early days, site-specific works were commissioned and an excellent example of this is the wall mounted steel sculptural panel by Mary Martin which was originally commissioned for the Pathfoot Dining Room and now hangs in the Crush Hall.
In the late sixties and early seventies, purchases were made chiefly from galleries such as the Waddington in London (which also donated a number of prints), the Compass Gallery in Glasgow and the Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh. The fine works collected in that period include paintings by Patrick Heron, Sir Robin Philipson, Michael Tyzack and Jon Schueler and sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi and Justin Knowles.
A major print collection was also developed, including work by Norman Ackroyd, Robyn Denny, Terry Frost, John Hoyland, Willie Rodger, Elizabeth Frink, Patrick Caulfield, Pierre Celice, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Imms, John Brunsdon, Graham Sutherland.
The Art Collection has in addition received two large and valuable gifts during its history.
The first was of fourteen works by the Scottish Colourist painter J.D. Fergusson. This was presented to Stirling by the artist's lifelong partner Margaret Morris in 1968 .
The second was a gift of fifteen paintings and three sculptures given to the University in 1997 as part of the Scottish Arts Council Bequest.
More recently the policy has been to focus exclusively on Scottish contemporary art and the collection now includes works by:
Calum Colvin, Brigid Collins, Adrian Wiszniewski, Sandy Moffat, Philip Braham, Alan Davie, Wilhelmina Barns Graham, Lotte Glob, Alan Davie, Lys Hansen, Helen Denerley and Kate Downie.
The majority of the artworks on display are concentrated in the Pathfoot Building with its light airy courtyards and multi level concourse, with sculpture also spread throughout the scenic campus.
The Art Collection at the University is a varied one comprising of over 500 works including paintings, sketches, tapestries, sculpture and silver.