Following the announcement of Lady Wallace's bequest, the Government decided, rather than constructing a new museum, to acquire the freehold of Hertford House which, over the course of the next three years, was converted for use as a museum.
The Wallace Collection opened, to great acclaim, to the public as a national museum on 22 June 1900.
Since then the collections have been enjoyed by millions of visitors and have remained constantly open to the public except for periods during the two World Wars, when the collections had to be removed to safe storage.
The Wallace Collection has been fortunate to have had a succession of distinguished Keepers, later Directors, of the Collection, who have maintained its traditions of liberal access combined with the highest standards of display and scholarship.
Keepers and Directors of the Wallace Collection:
1897-1911 - Sir Claude Phillips
1912-1924 - Dugald Sutherland MacColl
1924-1936 - Samuel Camp
1936-1962 - Sir James Mann
1963-1974 - Sir Francis Watson
1974-1978 - Terence Hodgkinson
1978-1992 - John Ingamells
1992-2011 - Dame Rosalind Savill
2011-2016 - Dr Christoph Vogtherr
2016-Present - Dr Xavier Bray