The Queen’s House Install

Royal Museums Greenwich

History of the Queen’s House

The Queen’s House Greenwich, designed by Inigo Jones, was proudly the first Classical building in England and is a scheduled ancient monument.

It was originally commissioned by James I’s wife Anne of Denmark, who unfortunately did not see the grand classical design completed before passing away in 1619.

It was under the direction of Charles I’s wife, Henrietta Maria, that the building was finally finished around 1638.

Today, the Queen’s House has reopened after major restoration, with 22 grand rooms filled with remarkable art spanning over 400 years. Turner Prize-winner Richard Wright revealed his impressive gold leaf design on the Great Hall ceiling, and the striking Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I is on display.

The Project

Earlier this summer, we were asked to supply a team of art handlers to work with, and support, Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) with their redevelopment project.

We were asked to transport objects and paintings from various off site storage locations and install at the refurbished Queen’s House.

Our team are specialised with installing valuable artwork in buildings with listed status, so held the expert knowledge and experience to undertake this significant task.

Access into the building was limited, so surveying the doorways and access routes was part of the extensive preparation. Our technicians were required to manually carry all items up the south staircase, which in itself was physically demanding.

Installing Iconic Artwork

We transported and installed spectacular iconic paintings by renowned artists, including: William Hodges, William Hogarth, Stephen Bone, Sir Peter Lely, Hans Holbein, Thomas Hudson and James Clark Hook. Some of the largest paintings in the collection, over two metres in length, were installed in the Bridge rooms on the 1st floor – a later architectural addition to the building.

The physical task of lifting each painting manually or mechanically was challenging, with some highly decorative and fragile frames being difficult to manoeuvre. The double and triple hanging of paintings proved to be the most demanding part of the installation.

Our team overcame many obstacles within the Queen’s House that are inherent to the architecture of the building. The protection of the structure was a specific concern, and with guidance by Historic England on how to proceed, we completed the installation with great success.

This project was an immense achievement for both our technicians and the RMG team, who worked together tirelessly to ensure work was completed on time for the official opening.

Find out more on the Queen’s House refurbishment, here.

See what we’ve been handling,
moving and installing

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