UGM keeps more than 5,000 art works of all types which represent masterpieces of Slovenian visual art. The collection contains works by major authors of modern and contemporary art, particularly by those from Styria (Štajerska region), Corinthia (Koroška region) and East Slovenia (Prekmurje region). Since 1999 UGM has held the first collection of video art in Slovenia. By systematic compiling of the most important works of eminent Slovenian videasts, UGM has created a collection which is becoming a reference centre both at home and abroad and has positioned our gallery among the most active international institutions in this field.
The time span of the works held by the gallery ranges from the end of the 19th century to the present. Some works had been purchased for the future Maribor Art Gallery even before the gallery was formally established – the first art work for the permanent collection was bought in 1922 (Ivan Grohar, Chapel, 1907), three decades before the gallery was founded. From 1954, when UGM was established, until 1968 246 works were acquired by taking over the painting collection of the Maribor Regional Museum, while large majority of the works were accumulated in the 1950s by means of systematic collection and acquisitions. Legacies and donations have always represented an important, although smaller share in the collection development. The collection of photographs was expanded in 2009 with 140 photographs by the members of the Maribor circle, and with a donation of more than 900 photographs by the Maribor-based photographer Janko Andrej Jelnikar.