Wallace's 'Great Room' re-opens

September 22 2014

Video: BBC

I'm a big fan of seeing pictures in daylight, so it's great to see that the Wallace Collection's 'Great Room' is now open again, with a glass ceiling. 

They still (judging from my most recent visit) have an aversion to dusting the frames at the Wallace though...

Update - Waldemar doesn't approve of the hang:

They took the roof off. They opened up some windows in the ceiling. They commissioned an acreage of gorgeous red damask. They managed somehow to make the space appear twice as big. All this works. I’m less sure about the hang. The finest Wallace pictures are here — the Rembrandts, the Van Dycks, the Velazquezes and, of course, Frans Hals’s Laughing Cavalier — but instead of grouping them according to national schools or matching genres, the Wallace has scattered them about the new gallery by following a pattern of tenuous connections.

Thus, Lawrence’s posh portrait of George IV, from 1822, is hanging next to Van Dyck’s moody self-portrait as the shepherd Paris, from c1628, solely because Sir Richard Wallace intended once to give the picture to George IV, then changed his mind when the king predeceased him. Is that really a good enough reason to disrupt chronology this much?

I thought the pictures also looked overcrowded in a busy two-tier hang. Fewer connections, better spacing would be my doctor’s orders.

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