In 2018, the Wallace Collection celebrates the 200th birthday of our founder, Sir Richard Wallace.
The supposed illegitimate son of the Fourth Marquess of Hertford, Sir Richard Wallace unexpectedly inherited the Marquess’s dazzling collection of art, an act which was to change the direction of his own life and that of the masterpieces in his care.
A major international philanthropist and cultural luminary of his time, yet also an enigmatic and private individual, Sir Richard believed in sharing his inheritance with a wider audience. He was also a prominent collector, adding extensively to the Collection prior to his death in 1890.
During this bicentenary year, we explore the many facets of this extraordinary and undiscovered man. Our flagship exhibition, Sir Richard Wallace: The Collector, highlights for the first time Sir Richard’s personal contributions to the Collection we know today, focusing on the diverse and idiosyncratic works of art he acquired and his considerable philanthropic legacy. The exhibition is accompanied by a book, which sheds new light on Sir Richard’s life and times.
There is also a full programme of events and family activities, ranging from Muso: Singing Wallace to Life a site specific performance by innovative theatre company Impropera, to The Knight in Art, four-week course inspired by Sir Richard’s passion for collecting arms and armour. Throughout 2018, our ‘Treasure of the Month’ series focuses on artworks collected by Sir Richard, with associated talks from our curators and a Sir Richard Wallace Trail throughout the museum, plus monthly film screenings exploring the world in which Sir Richard lived.
Look out for the RW200 symbol or hashtag for events and activities associated with our Richard Wallace 200 year.