Detail of fruit and flowers from a ceramic from the Museum collection
To return to the list of current exhibitions, click here.

English Rose – Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent
14 May - 25 September 2016
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. Featuring two wonderful portraits 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...more

A British Museum Spotlight Tour: Celebrating Ganesha
21 May - 18 September 2016
This vibrant, colourful exhibition is coming 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..more

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain
11 June - 9 October 2016
This exhibition, organised by the V&A, will display more than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary men’s and women’s shoes by 70 named designers, including Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Prada, many from the V&A’s unrivalled collection. The Museum is the only UK venue outside London that will stage this stunning exhibition...more

Echoes of Light
30 July - 30 October 2016
Engraved Glass Exhibition by the Northern Branch of the Guild of Glass Engravers...more


Mark Clarke – Shelf Life: The Ornaments are Talking to Me
15 October – 12 February 2017
Belfast born artist Mark Clarke ponders the themes of life, love and loss. His poetic interpretations of the homemade shrine explore ideas about dementia, obsession, good and bad taste, collecting and fine art versus outsider art...more