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The Wallace Collection is a national museum which displays the wonderful works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. It was bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, in 1897.
Displayed at Hertford House, the main London townhouse of its former owners, the Wallace Collection presents its outstanding collections in a sumptuous but approachable manner which is an essential part of its charm.
It is probably best known for its paintings by artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Hals (The Laughing Cavalier) and Velázquez and for its superb collections of eighteenth-century French paintings, porcelain, furniture and gold boxes, probably the best to be found anywhere outside France.
But there are also splendid medieval and Renaissance objects, including Limoges enamels, maiolica, glass and bronzes, as well as the finest array of princely arms and armour in Britain, featuring both European and Oriental objects.
Museum, Gallery, Historic house or home
Closed: 24th-26th December
Our library is open to the public by appointment only.
The twenty five galleries are a feast of French 18th Century paintings, furniture and porcelain from the Courts of Louis IV & IV of France and Marie Antoinette. The Wallace is also famous for Frans Hals's Laughing Cavalier and a host of other superb Old Master Paintings, as well as the biggest collection of antique arms and armour outside the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Weapons and War, World Cultures
Key artists and exhibits
- Van Dyke
- Riesner & Boule furniture
- Sevres Porcelain
Collaboration, Conservation and Research: Furniture from the Great Gallery
- 19 September 2014 — 27 September 2015 *on now
Two pairs of monumental tables have been on display in the Great Gallery for more than a century. The recent Great Gallery refurbishment project provided the perfect opportunity for all four tables to undergo full cleaning and conservation treatment. To address the treatment needs of the tables, the Wallace Collection teamed up with Buckingham New University, City and Guilds of London Art School and West Dean College and several students undertook the work as an integral part of their degree course. Now, some two years later, the tables have returned from treatment and look stunning in their former locations, much as they would have looked in Sir Richard Wallace’s day.
During the course of their treatment conservators and curators were able to analyse the tables forensically, discovering, for example, that the two in the centre of the gallery (F510-511) are not in fact a pair, instead one is a later copy of the other. To learn more about our new findings, as well as the techniques which the students used in their conservation work on these and the pair of pier tables (F514-515), come and visit the display from 19 September in the Conservation Gallery at the Wallace Collection.
- Family friendly
- 6 November 2014 — 15 February 2015 *on now
A new exhibition revealing the history of the Wallace Collection and its Founders through material from the Hertford House Historic Collection and Wallace Collection archives.
The Wallace Collection presents Collecting History: The Founders of the Wallace Collection, an exhibition of archival material and works of art from the Hertford House Historic Collection. This eclectic display will feature prints, engravings, photographs, inventories, and more from throughout the history of the Collection, much of which has never before been on public display.
Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint
- 12 March — 7 June 2015
Although widely regarded as one of the most important and influential painters of the period, Reynolds’s reputation as an ‘establishment’ artist masks his unquenchable thirst for innovation and his experimental approach to the practice and materials of painting. The exhibition explores Reynolds’s painting techniques, pictorial compositions and narratives through the display of 20 paintings, archival sources and x-ray images.
Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint draws upon the significant works within the Wallace Collection and major loans from the UK, other European countries and the USA, all chosen to reveal Reynolds’s compositional and narrative experimentation and his unorthodox choice of materials, admixtures of paint and complex layering techniques.
Shooting Buildings website
During the Shooting Buildings project in 2008, students from two London schools worked with a professional photographer to explore architecture and space through digital photography, both at the Wallace Collection and at their schools. This online gallery is the exciting culmination of the 2008 workshops.
- Wallace Collection
- Olivia Hemingway
- Elthorne Park High School
- West London Academy School
How to obtain
We are running a similar project in spring term 2009. If you would like your school to participate please contact the Education Administrator on 020 7563 9551, or go to www.wallacecollection.org/learning
What's On listings
The Wallace Collection has all kinds of events, talks, tours and activities to make your visit more special. Please click the link to see what's on.
How to obtain
Please browse the calendar or download the PDF file for information about our upcoming events and activities.