Wallace Collection takes ‘transformative’ step to begin making loans for the first time 8/10/2019

The Wallace Collection will begin making temporary loans for the first time in its 119 year history after its Trustees and Director Dr Xavier Bray obtained permission to lend from the Charity Commission and DCMS. Previously the terms of Lady Wallace’s bequest had been interpreted to mean that lending was not an option, but now the collection is keen to pursue a change of direction. Dr Bray said that despite being in Central London, working for the Wallace had previously been a somewhat ‘monastic’ existence ‘because people know that they will never get anything out of you’. He added “for me it is a bit like the Hobbit and you see that dragon just sitting on the treasure, not letting anybody get close to it. This is a major new chapter for the Wallace, it’s likely to be transformative in terms of how we work and how our curators and conservation staff think about the collection.” Chairman António Horta-Osório said that changing times mean that “in order fully to engage with the international art community, we must be able to share expertise and resources with our colleagues in other great collections around the world”.  The Collection is now in talks with museums in London, Los Angeles and Vienna about possible loans. The museum also recently tripled space in the basement for temporary exhibitions, which are also likely to be enhanced by a lending two-way street.  The Art Newspaper, The Guardian