The Bowes Museum

Bowes Museum
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Founded over 100 years ago, by John and Joséphine Bowes, the magnificent building contains the greatest collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North of England.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open daily 1000-1700
Closed only 25,26 Dec, 1 Jan

Admission charges

£9.50 Adults
£8.50 Concessions
£5.00 Students (on production of Student Card)
£14.00 6 Month Admission Pass*
Free entry to holders of the Great British Heritage Pass; National Art Pass (on production of membership card)
Free entry to the Friends of The Bowes Museum.
Free entry to Children (under 16)
Free entry to Accompanying Carers

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • International Council of Museums
  • English Heritage

Additional info

The Museum's reference library is staffed by the Friends of The Bowes Museum. It is open Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday By appointment only. Please ring for details.

The Friends of The Bowes Museum offer free guided tours of the galleries. For more information, or to pre-book your place please contact us.

Handling Sessions may be arranged in advance.

The entire collection of the Bowes Museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

This collection contains paintings, ceramics, items of woodwork, objects d’art and textiles. Before Josephine’s death in 1874, John Bowes and his French wife had amassed some 15,000 objects of all types of European fine and decorative arts from the period 1400-1870. The bills for this collecting activity survive in the museum’s archive. Acquisitions made more recently such as the Enid Goldblatt collection of porcelain, have reinforced the continental feel of the museum.

The Museum holds an outstanding collection of European fine and decorative arts of the period 1400-1875, specialising in French and Spanish paintings. There is an extensive collection of English furniture, European ceramics and textiles, as well as archaeological material and archives from County Durham and social history from Teesdale.

Items from this collection

Collection details

Weapons and War, Toys and Hobbies, Social History, Religion, Photography, Personalities, Natural Sciences, Music, Literature, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Coins and Medals, Archives, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • Silver Swan
  • James Cox
  • Pease Train
  • Clockwork Toys
  • Canaletto
  • El Greco
  • Goya
  • Tiepolo
  • Boucher
  • Revolving Band Clock
  • Giordano
  • Turner
  • Japanese Tiger
  • Portrait of Josephine Bowes
  • Portrait of John Bowes
  • Paintings by Josephine Bowes
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.

English Rose – Feminine beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent

  • 14 May — 25 September 2016 *on now

This exhibition celebrates nearly five hundred years of English female beauty, from the court beauties of the 17th century to the society ladies of Edwardian England. Based on the identification of the wonderful portrait by Anthony Van Dyck of Olivia Boteler Porter, depicting her as beauty of the court of Charles I alongside a range of English beauties depicted through the years painted by Lely, Kneller, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Romney, Millais and Sargent.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/VisitUs/WhatsOn/FutureExhibitions.aspx

From Temple to Home: Celebrating Ganesha

  • 21 May — 18 September 2016 *on now

This vibrant, colourful exhibition comes to The Bowes Museum from the British Museum. The exhibition centres on a large stone sculpture of the elephant-headed god Ganesha, depicted standing on a lotus petal. The arch supporting the figure is decorated with the mask of a lion, flanked by aquatic monsters.

Key objects include a delicate woodcut depicting Ganesha, Buddhi and Siddhi on a swing worshipping women. Another painting shows Ganesha riding his mount, the rat ‘Vahana’, framed with red and gold paper. Alongside these exhibits are rare photographs and porcelain figures revealing different aspects of the iconography around this elephant-headed god.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/VisitUs/WhatsOn/FutureExhibitions.aspx

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

History of Propaganda

  • 18 September 2016 From 2:30pm

Join Prof Jo Fox, the UK’s foremost scholar of comparative propaganda, for a talk on how feelings of love, romance and sexuality were played upon by propagandists on all sides of the First World War.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£3.00 Adults (or free with Museum admission), free for Friends of The Bowes Museum.

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Material Memories – The North East’s First World War Trench Art

  • 15 October 2016 From 2:30pm

Join Andrew Marriott for this talk on artworks made from recycled munitions and other materials available to soldiers in the First World War, and his pioneering research to uncover the history of surviving pieces in the North East.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 Adults (or free with Museum admission), free for Friends of The Bowes Museum.

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

WW1 Workshops

  • 24 October 2016 10:30am-4pm
  • 26 October 2016 10:30am-4pm

Learn about the Museum’s WW1 project and see some real WW1 artefacts before making a remembrance poppy to take home in this drop in workshop. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Music of Martyrs – British Composers of WW1

  • 12 November 2016 From 2:30pm

Join Prof Jeremy Dibble for a talk on the profound effect the First World War had on musicians, exploring the range of emotions that their music captured in the face of heroism, horror and loss.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 Adults (or free with Museum admission), free for Friends of The Bowes Museum.

Website

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

The Modish and the Militant

  • 10 December 2016 From 2:30pm

Join Lucie Whitmore to explore the links between conflict and women’s fashion. This talk will explore the experiences of women in wartime Britain, the changes in mourning dress, the growing practicality of women’s clothing and its balance between austerity and patriotism.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3.00 Adults (or free with Museum admission), free for Friends of The Bowes Museum.

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

The Bowes

After School Club

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/learning/after%20school/

The Bowes Museum’s After School Club is for children aged 7-12 years and meets at 15.45 every Wednesday during term time. They explore different parts of the Museum’s amazing collections through hands-on arts activities with recent topics including optical art experiments, Art Nouveau glass inspired vessels and even a performance of a Mummer’s Play.
Being a member of the After School Club means that you get to decide on the project focus – be it clay containers, printing patterns or Modroc models, everyone is given the opportunity to vote for their favourite choice. It’s a great way to meet new friends, learn new skills and get your creative juices flowing!

How to obtain

If you are interested in joining The Bowes Museum’s After School Club, please contact the Education Team on 01833 694602, education@thebowesmuseum.org.uk.

Portraits and Portraiture

How to obtain

Visit The Museums Network website www.museumnetworkuk.org which includes The Bowes Museum, for downloadable resources and games.

The Bowes Museum
Barnard Castle
Durham
DL12 8NP
England

Website

www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

E-mail

info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Telephone

01833 690606

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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