The Wallace Collection
The Main Website
020 7563 9551
020 7563 9500
020 7224 2155
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
The Discovery of Paris: Watercolours by Early Nineteenth-Century British Artists
Focusing on the period c. 1802-40 and featuring sixty watercolours, plus a dozen preparatory drawings and associated prints, this exhibition includes outstanding works by Turner, Girtin and Bonington, and other artists who are now less familiar, such as Thomas Shotter Boys and William Callow. Paris had been painted many times before, but never more beautifully than by nineteenth-century British artists, and very rarely by artists of such high standing in their own countries. Their styles vary widely, from the crystalline precision of Thomas Shotter Boys, whose superb watercolours will be some of the stars of the show, to the incomparable verve of Turner at his most intense. Rarely seen works have been lent by great museums including Tate, the V&A, the British Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, as well as several private collectors.
‘Of Exceptional and Outstanding Merit’: Treasures from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham was founded in December 1932 by Hattie, Lady Barber. She stipulated that works of art acquired for it should be 'of that standard of quality required by the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection'. To mark its 80th anniversary, the Barber is lending key works this summer to both the National Gallery (paintings) and the Wallace Collection (sculpture and decorative arts). Objects lent to the Wallace Collection include an ancient Greek helmet, a superb Jacobean silver-gilt salt, and a precious bloodstone bowl.
- Any age
The Conservation of Marie-Antoinette's Commode by Jean-Henri Riesener
This remarkable chest-of-drawers was made for the Queen's most private room, her cabinet intérieur, at Versailles by Jean-Henri Riesener. Cabinet-maker to the French crown from 1774 to 1784 Riesener supplied more than seven hundred pieces of furniture to the French court. Exquisite pieces of furniture such as this enable us to glimpse something of the beauty of Marie-Antoinette's original cabinet intérieur, dismantled after only three years in favour of a more fashionable scheme
Family Public Tour
Have you been looking for the perfect unique family tour? Well look no further! Taking you on this exciting, creative, thrilling and interactive journey will be the young curators from St. Vincent’s Primary School. Explore the collection through new eyes and handle objects as they guide you through its intriguing corridors and magnificent rooms.
- Any age
Create a stunning fascinator inspired by the work of Fragonard, Boucher and Watteau. Explore the colour palette and details in the paintings and develop a piece using a range of materials such as silk, ribbons, lace and feathers. You will be provided with a basic shape which you will cover and trim to your own design. You will be given step by step instructions and design guidance by milliner Caroline Morris.
Booking essential on 020 7563 9527 or email@example.com
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.