Dame Rosalind Savill, Director of the Wallace Collection
since 1992, will be retiring in October 2011. Dame Rosalind, who will be sixty in May 2011, joined the Wallace Collection from the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1974 and published her seminal three-volume work, The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Sèvres Porcelain, in 1988.
Dame Rosalind said at the recent Trustees meeting that she felt that this would be a fitting moment for her to go because she will have completed the transformation of the twelve rooms now filled with eighteenth-century French works of art. This summer also celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Centenary Project which she devised to give 30% more visitor space by glazing the Courtyard and excavating the basement. These new spaces provide an active Education Studio, Conservation Gallery, Reserve Collection Gallery, Temporary Exhibition Galleries, a Visitors Library, a Meeting Room and a Lecture Theatre and are crowned by the Wallace Restaurant in the elegant and airy Courtyard. The developments have enabled a wonderful range of visitor activities to take place whilst also retaining the domestic grandeur and artistic integrity of the furnished rooms. As Director, Dame Rosalind has also overseen the rise of visitor numbers to the Collection to a record level (since she opened the first refurbished State Room in 1994 these have increased by 164%.)
Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of the Trustees, together with his colleagues expressed their deep regret at Dame Rosalinds retirement, and said that the Wallace Collection would miss her vibrant, stimulating personality coupled with her wide intellectual, curatorial knowledge. She has helped transform and enhance the beauty of Hertford House such that the visitor can enjoy and appreciate the wonderful works of art belonging to the nation in a more fulfilling and inspiring way than ever before. As a scholar, curator and Director her passion for the Collection has pervaded her nineteen years in the post and she will be hard to replace.
The Trustees are now considering the recruitment of her successor.