The collection of art created after 1945 was begun from the end of the 1950s. Although it does not constitute a systematically developed set, it allows to distinguish fundamental tendencies defining both the local and the national dimension of contemporary art. The collection includes mainly painting and graphic works, currently located in two sections of the art and visual culture department, showing the essential traditions of contemporary art, with an expressive sequence of colour painting represented by a large set of works by Zenon Kononowicz, Władysław Filipiak and Edward Nadulski, the tradition of modern art represented by the heritage of the “Zamek” (“Castle”) group and varied nationwide artistic phenomena, defined as “metaphor”. These three areas allow one to capture the chronology and dynamics of contemporary artistic practices, the evolution of the work of individual artists (such as the modernisation of colourism in the works by Filipiak and Kononowicz by using the formula of abstraction) or changes in the concept of an image (e.g. in the works by Włodzimierz Borowski, Tytus Dzieduszycki-Sas or Jan Ziemski), but also capturing the coexistence of experimental phenomena rooted in the traditional formula of figuration.
Since the 1970s, the collection has been enriched with the works of classics of Polish modern art: Tadeusz Brzozowski, Marian Bogusz, Stefan Gierowski, Maria Jarema, Tadeusz Kantor, Jan Lebenstein, Jacek Sempoliński, Kajetan Sosnowski, Henryk Stażewski, Andrzej Wróblewski, Jerzy Tchórzewski, in a characteristic way showing the pluralism of varieties of abstraction and figuration, resulting from the experiences of the artistic thaw. The expansion of the catalogue of the collection was also possible due to the “Metaphors” program, carried out during the open airs and exhibitions organised by the Museum. It provided an opportunity, at least in part, to reflect current problems and artistic themes in the field of new figuration (the works by Maciej Bieniasz, Zbylut Grzywacz), assemblages (by Władysław Hasior) and, finally, conceptual practices (“Collections” by Marian Warzecha, photomontages by Natalia LL and Andrzej Lachowicz).
Such an idea of updating the collections is emphasised by the long-lasting practice of exhibitions by artists associated with the Lublin Art Department of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, who take an important place on the artistic map. The program, in which locality adopts universal references, constantly enriches museum resources with works by such artists as: Jan Gryka, Ryszard Lis, Tomasz Zawadzki or Jakub Ciężki.