Sir Richard Wallace: The Collector | #RW200
Wednesday 20th June, 2018 - Sunday 6th January, 2019
Price: Admission Free
In June 2018, the Wallace Collection opens its new £1.2 million exhibition space with Sir Richard Wallace: The Collector, an exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of the museum’s founder, Sir Richard Wallace. The exhibition explores the man, his life and his unprecedented contribution to the nation’s cultural heritage. 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. 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. Featuring twenty works of art collected by Sir Richard, the exhibition explores his eclectic tastes and highlights some of the unexpected treasures of the museum, including a gold trophy head from the Asante Kingdom, imperial ceremonial wine cups from China and a majestic ostrich figure made by the Augsburg silversmith Elias Zorer, plus spectacular examples of arms and armour, jewellery and more.
Gold Trophy Head, 19th century or earlier, Asante Kingdom, © The Wallace Collection Silver Ostrich Statuette, c. 1600, Augsburg, Germany, © The Wallace Collection The Bell of St Mura, 11th-16th centuries, Ireland, © The Wallace Collection Boxwood Miniature Triptych, Early 16th century, Netherlands, © The Wallace Collection