UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Energy efficiency at the Wallace Collection: Preserving collections for future generations

26 November 2020, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Photo shows the Great Gallery in the Wallace Collection, London.

Thank you to everyone that joined us for this virtual guest lecture - the webinar is now available to watch in full below.

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


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About this lecture

This talk explores the challenges of preserving objects whilst maintaining a Museum which is economically and environmentally sustainable. The Wallace Collection is one of the finest collections of art ever assembled by one family displayed in the same historic London town-house where it was first installed by Richard Wallace between 1873-5. The role of an object conservator entails practical and investigative work carried out to prolong the life of objects, and a major part of this is in object preservation on a wider level through preventive conservation, such as the control of temperature, humidity, and light levels. But a more recent and prescient challenge to the role of conservator is to provide a ‘perfect museum environment’ while reducing the overall impact on the global environment. There are individual advantages and disadvantages to the various forms energy production that take place within the gallery setting. This talk will outline the energy challenges at the Wallace Collection, solutions implemented so far and possible future solutions.

Virtual event details

This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from Jurgen Huber, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Dr Josep Grau-Bove.

About the speaker

Jürgen Huber is an ICON-accredited Senior Furniture Conservator at the Wallace Collection, where he has been working since 2004. He is an assessor for ICON and a member of the Church of England Sculpture & Furnishings advisory committee. After an extensive training as a cabinetmaker, following the journeyman tradition in France and Germany, he gained a ‘Meister im Tischlerhandwerk’ (masters in cabinetmaking) in 1992. In 1998 he graduated from City and Guilds of London Art School, with a postgraduate diploma in conservation studies. Having been involved from the early nineties in the German Energy transmission Jürgen has a deep understanding of interconnected sustainability issues, and has put this experience into practice at the Wallace Collection and in his private life. The low budget conversion of his home as well as his cruising houseboat ‘Bauhaus’, have been featured extensively in the press such as the Sunday Times, Observer, Guardian, Telegraph and internet forums.

Image credit: Nathan Hughes Hamilton on Flickr