Looking after the Royal Collection

Sunday 23 September | 10am–11am

In April 2018, Tim Knox was appointed by HM The Queen as the new Director of the Royal Collection. With over a million objects, ranging from the Leonardo drawings to superlative French furniture and porcelain, from carriages to The Crown Jewels, the Royal Collection is one of the greatest art collections ever formed.

In recent years, public access to the Royal Collection has been transformed, not just by opening up the various palaces, but by loans, exhibitions, catalogues and other publications, learning and outreach and a series of successful TV programmes. Indeed, it now has a public profile to rival some of our national museums.

Yet the Royal Collection is not a museum; it is still essentially the private collection of HM The Queen. What is more it is a working collection, where artefacts and, in some cases, superlative works of art, still perform the functions they were originally commissioned for. Tim Knox speaks about his first impressions of the Royal Collection, and touches upon some of the more surprising and puzzling aspects of his new responsibilities.

Formerly Director and Marlay Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge 2013-2018, Tim Knox was Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, 2005-13. Before that, he worked for the National Trust, from 1995 as its Architectural Historian and from 2002-2005 as its Head Curator.