The Artworks Collection was originally established in 1947 under the vision of Steward Mason the then Director of Education. Today, the scheme is administered by the Open Museum Team of Leicestershire County Council Heritage and Arts Services. It continues to bring art into schools and communities where it can be enjoyed, appreciated and more significantly used to support a whole range of formal and informal learning activities.
The collection comprises over 1,000 original works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries. It includes work by Christopher Wood, William George Scott, Patrick Heron and John Piper. More recent additions include Peter Howson, Patrick Hughes, Bridget Riley and Paula Rego.
Leicestershire County Council continues to maintain the vibrancy of the collection. Works are acquired with an ongoing understanding of what types of work will be most effective and useful within different educational and community settings. The users of the scheme book the artworks on a yearly or termly basis – the art is delivered then collected at the end of each loan period allowing the art to circulate throughout the County.