26th October 2016
The Founders and Treasures of the Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection, a national museum containing an outstanding array of paintings, furniture, porcelain, arms and armour, and other works of art, was brought together by five generations of one family between about 1780 and 1880. All the Founders were remarkable – and sometimes rather strange - men in their own right, but the greatest collectors were the 4th Marquess of Hertford and his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace, who lived most of their lives in Paris. It is their French upbringing which largely explains the strong, but by no means overwhelming, French emphasis to much of the Collection. This lecture tells the fascinating story of the Wallace Collection’s formation, and also presents many of its finest treasures.
Stephen Duffy read History and the History of Art at New College, Oxford. After working in marketing he joined the Wallace Collection where he rose to become Senior Curator and had particular responsibility for exhibitions and nineteenth-century paintings. He has given countless tours of the Collection for visiting groups (including NADFAS) and many lectures on its art and other related subjects. His recent publications include “The Discovery of Paris”, a book on early nineteenth-century watercolour views of Paris by major British artists, and a volume on the Wallace Collection’s miniatures.