Last Updated on 13 April, 2023
The Wallace Collection is a national museum in London with a collection of fine and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The museum is housed in Hertford House, a mansion built in 1756 on Manchester Square, Marylebone.
The collection was formed by Sir Richard Wallace (1818-90), the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford and Lady Wallace (née Katherine Seymour), and bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace in 1897.
It comprises paintings, furniture, arms & armor, porcelain, and other works of art and is displayed according to the period in a series of galleries within Hertford House. The museum opened to the public in 1900.
Few people know why Sir Richard Wallace named the museum after himself. One of the reasons may have been that he was illegitimate and didn’t want his father’s name to be associated with the collection. Naming it, the Wallace Collection gave him a sense of legitimacy and helped preserve the collection for future generations.
Facts About Wallace Collection
This is among of those hidden gems in a list of cool things to do in London. There are many interesting facts about Wallace Collection. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to learn about all the fantastic things this collection offers.
Below are some of the facts that make the Wallace Collection so unique and exciting:
The Museum is Named After Sir Richard Wallace
The museum was named after Sir Richard Wallace, the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess of Hertford. He was also the one who donated the collection to the nation in 1897. It happened that his wife, Lady Wallace, died before him, and he wanted to ensure that the collection would be preserved after his death.
Naming the museum after Wallace helped keep the collection together and in one place so future generations could enjoy it. That is one of the reasons why the museum is so important.
Few people know why Sir Richard Wallace named the museum after himself. One of the reasons may have been that he was illegitimate and didn’t want his father’s name to be associated with the collection. Naming the Wallace Collection gave him a sense of legitimacy and helped preserve the collection for future generations.
The Collection is Housed in Hertford House
Hertford House is a mansion built in 1756 on Manchester Square in London. It wasn’t until 1897 that the decision was made to turn Hertford House into a museum. The Wallace Collection is the only inhabitant of the house and is used to display all of the paintings, furniture, armor, and other works of art.
Very few people know that Hertford House is actually where the Wallace Collection is housed. This is because it is not as large or well-known as other museums in London. However, Hertford House is an essential part of London’s history, and it is worth visiting if you are ever in the area.
The Wallace Collection is a National Museum
The Wallace Collection is a national museum, which means it is owned by the British government and is accessible for everyone to visit. It is one of the many reasons why the collection is so important. Not only is it free to visit, but it is also open to the public.
This means that anyone can come and enjoy the paintings, furniture, armor, and other works of art. It is one of the few museums in London open to the public and doesn’t require an admission fee.
There are 26 Galleries at Wallace Collection
When you visit Wallace Collection, you’ll be able to explore 26 galleries spread out over four floors of Hertford House. Each floor is dedicated to a different period of art. For example, the ground floor is home to the 16th and 17th-century galleries, while the first floor is home to the 18th-century galleries.
These galleries are filled with paintings, furniture, armor, and works from each period. You’ll also learn about the different artists and how they contributed to the Wallace Collection.
You’ll Find Paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Poussin
There are plenty of paintings to admire while at the Wallace Collection. Some of the most notable ones include Rembrandt’s “Self-Portrait in a Black Cap,” Van Dyck’s ” Charles I on Horseback,” and Poussin’s ” The Rape of the Sabine Women.”
In addition to these paintings, there are plenty of other pieces of art to admire from various artists. For example, you’ll find a mix of Rubens, Titian, and Raphael painting styles.
There is a Café and a Shop on the Site
If you get hungry while exploring Wallace Collection, a café on-site offers light meals and snacks in addition to the ever-popular Wallace Collection afternoon tea. The café is located on the ground floor near the main entrance. There is also a shop where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts.
The essence of this cafe and shop is to help support the Wallace Collection. The money raised from the café and shop goes towards the upkeep of the collection and helps to fund new acquisitions.
The Museum is Free to Enter
One of the best things about the Wallace Collection is that it is free to enter. You can explore all the galleries and take in all the artwork without spending any money. However, donations are always welcome.
You can donate at the entrance if you want to support the Wallace Collection. All the donations go towards the museum’s upkeep and help fund new acquisitions.
How to Plan A Visit to Wallace Collection
Now that you know a little more about Wallace Collection, it’s time to start planning your visit. If you’re interested in visiting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First and foremost, Wallace Collection is located in London. If you’re not already in the city, you’ll need to make travel arrangements accordingly. But if you are in London, getting to the museum is easy. It is located on Manchester Square, which is in the Marylebone neighbourhood. The closest Underground station is Bond Street which is serviced by the Central and Jubilee lines.
Once you’re at Wallace Collection, you can explore all 26 galleries at your own pace. If you want to learn more about a specific piece of artwork, there are audio guides available for rent. For those wondering how long it will take to explore everything, it depends on your interests and how much time you want to spend in each gallery. However, a general rule of thumb is to allow at least 2 hours for your visit.
The best time to visit the museum is during the week. It’s less crowded, and you’ll have a better chance of getting close to all the artwork. During the weekends, the museum can get quite busy, so it’s best to avoid those days if possible.
Finally, don’t forget to stop by the café and shop before you leave. The café is excellent for grabbing a snack or drink, and the shop has some unique souvenirs.
Wallace Collection Opening Hours
Wallace Collection is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. On Fridays, the museum stays open until 9 pm. The last admission is half an hour before closing time. There are no limitations on how long you can stay inside the museum. As aforementioned, there is no entry fee, so you can come and go as you please. However, donations are always appreciated.
The Location of the Wallace Collection
Hertford House, Manchester Square
London, W1U 3BN
Those visiting by tube should take the Central or Jubilee lines to Bond Street station. The museum is located a short walk away from the station.
Wallace Collection is a must-see for anyone interested in art. With so many incredible pieces of artwork on display, it’s an experience that you won’t soon forget. Some have been to Wallace Collection multiple times and always find something new to admire. So, what are you waiting for? Visit Wallace Collection today and start exploring.