The collection of the LUMC consists of some 3,000 items distributed over the wards, passageways, waiting rooms and stairwells of the various buildings. The collection focuses primarily on unique works of art and includes drawings, paintings, photos, sculptures and videos by contemporary artists. In addition to the collection of unique works of art, artists are commissioned to make works of art for specific locations in the public space.
The foundation for the collection was laid in the late 1980s; with works of art of, among others, Tjong Ang, Henk Visch, Marc Ruygrok and Marlene Dumas. Artists who were still relatively unknown at the time but today are considered to belong to the establishment. During this period an important, valuable photography collection was added thanks to sponsors. It involves photos made in a period in which photography started to manifest itself as an autonomous art form. Photographers such as Sebastiao Salgado, Aart Klein and Sanne Sannes are included in this photo collection. This classic collection of photography constituted an excellent basis for further expanding the collection with contemporary photography.
Notable in the 1990s and 2000s is the artists' focus on man and his direct environment. During this period many portraits of artists starting out at the time such as Rosemin Hendriks, Willem Sanders and Martine Stig were added to the collection.
With the foundation of the Art Foundation in 1988 a start was made with building the LUMC collection.From the beginning, the art policy focused on contemporary art of socially engaged artists. The starting point of the collection is the great diversity in contemporary art in the Netherlands. The LUMC Art Collection provides a representative overview in this context. The LUMC's Art Affairs department seeks to include several works of art of each artist in its collection in order to give an impression of an oeuvre. The collection continues to expand with works of promising artists. The unique nature of the collection is determined by the spaces in which the works are displayed and the fact that the LUMC is a care institution. In addition, the quality of the works of art previously chosen is always leading in acquiring new works of art. Being included in the collection acts as a 'quality hallmark'.
The art collection of the LUMC has its origins in its construction phase of the 1980s. At the time, the 1% facility for government building projects made it possible to commission works of art. Apart from commissioned art for the main building, from 1988 Art Affairs also acquired an autonomous collection of works of art to be placed in the hospital's extended public zones. This period also saw the foundation of the LUMC Gallery and an exhibition space for 3D works of art; the current sculpture garden. Art Affairs - part of the Communication department - has been responsible for the content and implementation of the LUMC's art policy on behalf of the Board of Directors since 1988.