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Press Releases > Rokeby: (Poetry and Landscape) Walter Scott & Turner in Teesdale
Stunning landscapes, inspired by an epic poem, form the basis of a major exhibition coming up at The Bowes Museum in the New Year.
Rokeby: (Poetry & Landscape) Walter Scott & Turner in Teesdale, opening on Saturday 26th January, marks the bicentenary of the publication of Scott’s epic poem, Rokeby, a thrilling tale of star crossed lovers, ghosts and treasure, set against the backdrop of the English Civil War.
Exploring the relationship between literature and art, the exhibition - curated by the Museum’s Keeper of Fine Art, Emma House - examines the poem’s role in attracting artists such as Turner, Atkinson Grimshaw, and the Pre-Raphaelite Alfred William Hunt to the region, highlighting the importance of Teesdale in the development of landscape painting in Britain. It will include loans from the British Museum, Tate, and regional galleries as well as paintings from the Museum’s own collection.
Scott penned Rokeby following several visits to John Morritt’s country estate, Rokeby Park, having taken inspiration from the surrounding scenery. The Bowes Museum is situated a mile or so from the estate, at the centre of the landscape brought to life in the poem. Originally published in 1813, it placed Teesdale firmly on the tourist map as well as drawing a succession of artists to the region, including Turner, who later produced 20 views for Whitaker’s An History of Richmondshire, four of which relate to locations in the poem.
Scott’s publisher was later to commission Turner to illustrate newer editions of the poet’s work, stating that he could sell 8,000 copies with Turner’s illustrations as opposed to 3,000 without.
The exhibition, which runs until Sunday 28th April, will be supported by a full programme of events. Walking tours and newly published leaflets will encourage visitors to explore the region’s attractions and viewpoints in relation to the paintings and literature they inspired.
A further programme of painting, photography, textile and writing workshops will encourage participants to get their creative juices flowing and respond to the poem by producing their own works of art inspired by the landscape.
The Museum will also be working with Dora Frankel Dance, who will perform a newly choreographed piece – The Unfolding Sky: Turner in the North - exploring Turner’s landscape paintings. There will also be an opportunity to take part in a dance workshop.
The exhibition has been supported by funding from the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership. Further support has come from the Museum Friends, who have assisted with the preparations. The Museum is also indebted to historian Michael Rudd for his work on the exhibition and supporting programme, and to Tony Seward for his contribution to the accompanying catalogue.
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The Bowes Museum, Café Bowes and Shop are open daily from 10.00. A full programme of events and exhibitions is available by calling 01833 690606 or by viewing the website at www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk.
• The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes. Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods.
• The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a member of the North East Regional Museums Hub receives support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Museums, Library and Archives Council Renaissance programme. Additional revenue funding specifically for the Museum’s acclaimed exhibition programme is provided by Northern Rock Foundation.
• The Bowes Museum has recently undergone major redevelopment. This work was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation. While we are endeavouring to keep as much of the collections on display as possible, visitors are advised to call ahead if wishing to see a specific item to check if it is on display.
• Normal admission to the museum: Adults £9.00, Concessions £8.00, Six Month Pass £12.00, Children Free (under 16s). Admission allows access to all exhibitions, permanent displays and some events. Admissions are donation inclusive and are eligible for Gift Aid. If you do not wish to make a charitable donation admission prices are: Adults £8.15, Concessions £7.25, Six Month Pass £10.00, Children (under 16) and carers free.
• The Bowes Museum is open daily from 10.00am.
• The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 0191 301 8531, www.discoverdurham.co.uk.