We are Reopening
The Wallace Collection is delighted to announce that it will reopen its doors to the public on 3 June 2021.
It has been more than a year since the doors of Hertford House were closed for the first time due to COVID-19, and it has been without a doubt one of the most challenging periods in the history of the Wallace Collection. However, thanks to the dedication of staff and the unwavering encouragement of the museum’s supporters, this period of enforced closure has also been a time of transformation for the museum.
Thanks to the generosity of several donors, the Wallace Collection has been able to make the most of this period of closure as unique opportunity to carry out a major programme of renovation, redecoration, and relighting. Chandeliers have been cleaned, revealing sparkling crystals; new track lighting has been installed to ensure each work of art is shown in the best possible detail; and old paintwork has been refreshed. Decades old carpets have been removed to expose the original Carrara marble staircases.
The Entrance Hall, which was last refurbished in 1994, now has new Yellow Siena marbled paintwork, which will be the perfect backdrop for newly redisplayed works of art, now lit to reveal their true magnificence. In particular, the Collection’s two spectacular cartoons by François Boucher which greet guests as they ascend the staircase will now be able to be seen in their true splendour.
Downstairs, the visitor toilet facilities have also been renovated for the first time in over twenty years. Finally, the works to the façade of Hertford House, which were started in 2019, have been completed. The beautiful tuck-pointed brickwork and elaborate iron railings have been restored to their former glory, just as Sir Richard Wallace intended.
Alongside all of the physical changes at Hertford House, the Wallace Collection is thrilled to announce a new way for onsite and online audiences to explore the museum and its works of art. Visitors will soon be able to explore the Collection at home or in person with the free Bloomberg Connects App. Available for download from the Apple App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android, content from the Wallace Collection will include exclusive audio commentaries, thematic gallery trails, videos and much more to help you explore our works of art in new ways. The Wallace Collection plans to launch on Bloomberg Connects on 17 June.
The Bloomberg Connects digital guide, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is a central plank in the Wallace Collection’s digital engagement programme that aims to reach new audiences, both in the UK and internationally.
Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection, said:
‘It is with great pleasure that I announce the reopening of the Wallace Collection. Our purpose is to inspire, amaze and delight the public with our works of art, and we have been waiting impatiently to open the doors of Hertford House once again to welcome visitors. I am incredibly grateful for the immense generosity of our donors, whose loyal support has allowed to us to use this unprecedented time for important upgrades to the galleries, and I would also like to personally thank all of the staff, who displayed unrivalled dedication and enthusiasm. Finally, I cannot wait for visitors to experience our new Bloomberg Connects guide, which will open up new avenues of enquiry and exploration for audiences throughout the museum and online. There is so much for visitors to see at the Collection, as we will open with a wonderful display on the French furniture maker Riesener, an exhibition on Peter Paul Rubens and a theatrical knight on horseback in our Courtyard.’