Manchester Town Hall oil painting collection mainly consists of individual portraits depicting councillors who were mayors, a number of local and national politicians and some municipal officers. Exceptions are the portraits of Elizabeth II and the painting of the members of the Central Executive Cotton Famine Relief Committee which coordinated the response to the cotton famine of the 1860s. The collection began as a group of portraits which hung in the Old Town Hall on King Street. The earliest portraits depicted some of the reforming Liberals who helped form the new borough council in 1838. The collection expanded and in 1877 moved to the New Town Hall on Albert Square where it continued to grow. Aside from the first few portraits in the collection, there has been no consistent attempt to influence the commissioning or display of portraits by one political party in the Town Hall. The majority of the collection is now on display in the main public rooms of the Town Hall. Some of the paintings are by artists who have a local or regional connection, and a few who exhibited in London.