The Wallace Collection

Scanning small objects, shiny objects and cabinets in an eighteenth century mansion

Located in an eighteenth century mansion, the Wallace Collection houses one of the finest collections of art in London. It is particularly strong in French 18th century art with unsurpassed masterpieces of paintings, sculpture, furniture, arms and armour and porcelain collected by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess. It was bequeathed to the British nation by Sir Richard's widow, Lady Wallace, in 1897.

The challenge

The Wallace Collection is displayed in a historic mansion in central London with the works displayed as they were originally - without detailed wall labels or interactive panels. Staff wanted to provide audio tours and information to visitors without having to make incongruous interventions into this historic display or rely on costly rented devices and maintenance. Staff also challenged us to ensure that the cabinets containing small objects; armour and porcelain galleries; and tightly-packed artworks in a salon hang could also be scanned and identified with the app.

Our solution

We worked with staff to develop a ‘group scan’ feature within Smartify to enable visitors to scan a group of items - for example in a cabinet - and view a thematic heading with images of all the objects inside. This feature became a core part of the content management process saving museums time by not having to create labels for smaller works or those that are part of a set; while also providing a better experience for the visitor.

tagged as

Smartify user scanning Frans Halss The Laughing Cavalier 1624 at The Wallace Collection London 2017 Smartify
Smartify user scanning Frans Hals' The Laughing Cavalier, 1624

The results

Starting our collaboration in 2016, Smartify has gone from strength to strength at the Wallace Collection and is now regularly cited as a great addition in visitor feedback, for example the Tripadvisor review below. Smartify continues to be a core tool for the visitor experience at The Wallace Collection particularly in response to COVID19 social distancing.

Listen to all the 5* reviews - they are accurate! Use Smartify app on your mobile. It added ENORMOUSLY to our visit.

RWKRIK at The Wallace Collection, London, February 2020

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