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16th Apr / 2016
The 40th Annual Symposium 'Bright and Beautiful': colour in interiors

Saturday 16 April 2016, The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1

THE 40th ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM ‘Bright and Beautiful’: colour in interiors

The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1

Saturday 16 April 2016  10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Estate agents would have us believe that we all aspire to live in houses decorated in grey, beige or white.  In fact, most personal spaces are considerably livelier in their colouring and this reflects a long tradition of using and enjoying colour in interiors.  The expense of certain colours, and sometimes their scientific or geographic novelty, made them obvious indicators of status.  The fugitive nature of certain colours did not detract from their desirability. By the late eighteenth century, the development of colour theory had begun to influence the choice and combination of colours but there has always been space for innovation and experiment in this important element of interior decoration.


Please note that no entry to the Wallace Collection is permitted before 10.00 am and all visitors must leave the building before 5.00 pm

10.00 – 10-.25 am       Registration and coffee

10.25 - 10.30 am         Welcome

10.30 – 10.40 am        Introduction by Sarah Medlam, who will chair the day

10.40 – 11.10 am        Dr Steven Brindle, Senior Properties Historian, English Heritage

Interior decoration, furniture and the use of colour at the court of Henry II: work done for the Dover Castle Great Tower project

11.10 - 11.40 am         Nick Humphrey, Curator, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department, Victoria and Albert Museum

Painted Furniture and Woodwork in Britain before 1650 (TBC)

11.40 – 12.10 pm        Dr Wolf Burchard, the National Trust

Between Theory and Practice: Charles Le Brun and colour at the Academy and Gobelins

12.10 – 12.40              Dr Ian Bristow, independent scholar

Conventions of Colour Usage before Goethe and the Advent of later Theories in Colour Harmony

12.40 – 1.00 pm          Q&A

1.00 – 2.00 pm            LUNCH

2.00 – 2.15 pm            Yannick Chastang, independent conservator

Colour in Marquetry: a generation of new work

2.15 – 2.45 pm            Jurgen Huber, conservator, the Wallace Collection and Marc-André Paulin, C2RMF workshop, the Louvre

True colours revealed: Marie Antoinette’s commode and other Riesener pieces at the Wallace Collection and the Louvre

2.45 – 3.15 pm             Lucy Wood, independent scholar

Taste and Invention in English Painted Furniture c. 1780-1820

3.15 – 3.45 pm            Dr Alexandra Loske, Department of Art History, University of Sussex and Curator of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton

‘A Splendour of Light and Colour’: the history of colour at the Royal Pavilion

3.45 – 4.15 pm            Dr Sally-Anne Huxtable, Principal Curator of Modern and Contemporary Design, National Museum of Scotland

Colour and the Artistic Interior in Britain, 1850-1900

4.15 – 4.30 pm            Q&A

4.30 – 4.35 pm            Summing up and thanks

4.35 – 5.00 pm            Tea

Tickets must be purchased in advance and early booking is recommended.

Cost: FHS members £45/ FHS under-30 Members £30

Non-members £60 reduced to £50 if joining at the time) 

Ticket price includes morning coffee and afternoon tea. 

A light lunch will be available to FHS members in the Meeting Room at the Wallace Collection at a cost of £20. Tickets for lunch must be purchased at least 7 days in advance. The Wallace Collection Restaurant will be open for bookings (Tel: 020 7 563 9505) and there are plenty of local cafés/restaurants. 

*UPDATE 12th APRIL* Lunch Tickets are now sold out but there are a few remaining tickets available for the event by emailing the Events Secretary on


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