To return to the list of current exhibitions, click here.

Birds of Paradise: Plumes & Feathers in Fashion
25 October 2014 – 19 April 2015
A tribute to the elegance of feathers used in the fashion industry past and present, featuring extravagant catwalk creations from British, Belgian, French and Italian designers including Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, Prada and Gucci...more


Confected, Borrowed and Blue
14 February - 12 April 2015

Fighter jets and factory buildings – not what you’d expect to find on your average dinner plate! But in Paul Scott’s hands domestic ceramics mutate into subversive comments on our life and times...more


Julian Opie Collected Works
25 October 2014 - 22 February 2015 
This exhibition brings together the works of Julian Opie with that of his personal collection of works of art from the ancient world and 17th and 18th century British Portraiture
...more

Six Masterpieces of the Spanish Golden Age: Paintings from Madrid, London and York
11 October – 1 February 2015 
Celebrating conservation of the Museum’s important painting The Last Communion of Saint Raymond Nonnatus by Francisco Pacheco
...more

Victorian Childhood
21 June - 7 September 2014
What was life like for a Victorian child? In this fascinating exhibition, objects enable you to compare the lifestyles of rich and poor Victorian children through the key themes: clothing, school, work, play and home life
...more

Changing Times – Fashion Inspired by 1914 – 1918
14 June - 31 August 2014
To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the First World War
...more

Hockney, Printmaker
7 June – 28 September 2014
A delightful and entertaining overview of the artist's graphic career to celebrate his 60 years as a printmaker
...more

Shafts of Light - Mining Art in the Great Northern Coalfield
17 May 2014 – 21 September 2014
A salute to a once essential and powerful workforce
...more

godsbridge X
5 April - 6 July 2014
With British Sculptor Tania Kovats as lead artist, 10 selected artists create their response to God's Bridge: a natural limestone formation across the River Greta, high on the Pennines
...more

Manet: Execution of Maxmilian
22 March 2014 - 18 May 2014
Manet’s The Execution of Maximilian comes to the Museum as the first painting in the three-year Masterpiece Tour
...more

Henry Poole & Co. Founder of Savile Row
The Art of Bespoke Tailoring and Wool Cloth
21 September 2013 - 11 May 2014
An exhibition to celebrate the craft of bespoke tailoring by Savile Row family, Henry Poole & Co which opened in 1806 and launched Savile Row. Henry Poole & Co went on to create the tuxedo
...more

Seven Billion Two Hundred and One Million Nine Hundred and Sixty-Four Thousand and Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight
25 January 2014 - 21 April 2014
Born in 1967, one of the Young British Artists, Gavin Turk has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture
...more

How to Hide a Lion!
26 October 2013 - 9 February 2014
An entertaining and interactive exhibition brings to life the stories of acclaimed children’s author, Helen Stephens...more

Laura Ashley: The Romantic Heroine
21 September 2013 - 5 January 2014
To celebrate the 60th anniversary in 2013 of the founding of the Laura Ashley label, this exhibition will celebrate the vision of the romantic heroine that Laura Ashley gave to fashion in the 1960s ...more

The Anglo-Saxons in the North
31 July 2013 - 31 December 2013
Highlighting the Museum’s Anglo-Saxon archaeology collections, in celebration of the Lindisfarne Gospels’ return to the region in 2013 ...more

Dolls, Bears and Robots
29 June 2013 -  8 September 2013
Appealing to families, this extension to the current toy display will create a specific Children’s Room in the Museum’s Streatlam Galleries. More dolls and teddy bears from the collection ...more 

Jeremiah Dixon: Scientist, Surveyor and Stargazer  
27 April 2013 - 6 October 2013
In the year of the 250th anniversary of the commencement of the survey in 1763, of the founding of the Mason-Dixon Line by Cockfield born man, Jeremiah Dixon, the Museum will host an exhibition of ...more

Tim Walker: Dreamscapes 
Sat 25 May 13 - Sun 01 Sep 13
Leading fashion photographer Tim Walker, whose photographs have entranced readers of Vogue for over a decade, is widely acclaimed for his surreal and extravagant settings. Images for this exhibition more...

Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus by Edouard Manet
Wed 24 Apr 13 - Sun 02 Jun 13
Sold in 2011 for £28.5m, Manet’s important portrait was successfully saved for the nation by the Ashmolean Museum and the Art Fund. This major work comes to the Museum on the first stop ...more

Material Remains: Diana Winkfield
16 February 2013 - 8 September 2013
A new exhibition created specifically for The Bowes Museum’s award winning Fashion & Textile Gallery goes on display in the New Year; the first showing of this new body of work in the UK ...more  


Rokeby: Poetry and Landscape; Walter Scott and Turner in Teesdale
Sat 26 Jan 13 - Sun 28 Apr 13
The Bowes Museum’s exhibition Rokeby: (Poetry & Landscape) Walter Scott & Turner in Teesdale, marks the bicentenary of the publication of Scott’s epic poem, Rokeby, a thrilling ...more

Durham County Council Open Art Competition
 
Sat 02 Mar 13 - Sun 07 Apr 13
This is the fifth year that Durham County Council has staged the open art exhibition, which over the years has grown from strength to strength. The exhibition is now an established annual event that
...more

Titanic Legacy
Sat 01 Dec 12 - Sun 27 Jan 13 
To mark the Centenary Year of the launch of the titanic, students from the Fashion Marketing Degree Course at Northumbria Design were asked to explore and research past historical style in ...more

Beyond Bagpuss - an Artist's Journey
Sat 20 Oct 12 - Sun 17 Feb 13 
Artist Linda Birch, illustrator of Bagpuss & The Clangers , is to have an exhibition of her work at The Bowes Museum, where she holds regular painting classes ...more

Feast your Eyes: The Fashion of Food in Art
Sat 06 Oct 12 - Sun 06 Jan 13
Celebrating the representation of food over the past five centuries, Feast your Eyes will explore fashions in food and drink throughout Europe from the 16th to the 21st Century. Ranging from ...more

Teesdale Open Studios
Sat 08 Sep 12 - Sun 07 Oct 12
See examples of work by all 22 artists taking part in Teesdale Open Studios 2012. Then head out to meet the artists in their studios during Teesdale Open Studios itself. The Fox and ...more

Keith Coventry 'Black Bronze White Slaves'
Sat 14 Jul 12 - Sun 16 Sep 12
The first exhibition to focus exclusively on the bronze sculptures of celebrated artist Keith Coventry opens at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle on 14 July. Coventry is a key member of what has ...more

Joséphine Bowes & The Costumier 
Mon 25 Jun 12 - Fri 06 Jul 12 
Luca Costigliolo, an internationally celebrated theatrical and historical costumier, is re-creating the ball gown that Joséphine Bowes is wearing in her portrait below. The dress is being ...more

Our Sporting Life 
Sat 09 Jun 12 - Mon 27 Aug 12 
Our Sporting Life is a unique and ambitious national celebration of British Sport, with 100 exhibitions being held all over Britain to salute sport from the grass roots to the Olympic podia. Its aim ...more

Stephen Jones: From Georgiana to Boy George
Sat 19 May 12 - Sun 02 Sep 12
One of British Fashion’s best loved characters, whose client list boasts style icons such as French First Lady Carla Bruni alongside pop divas Madonna and Kylie Minogue, is exhibiting a ...more

Complicidades: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera 
Sat 12 May 12 - Sun 24 Jun 12
The Bowes Museum is delighted to announce that it is the only UK venue to be included in the European tour of this photographic exhibition featuring prominent 20th century Mexican artists ...more

Lucile - Fashion Designer, Titanic Survivor
Sat 14 Apr 12 - Sun 06 Jan 13 
This summer’s show in the Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum features a dress designed by Lucile which spotlights both the glamorous and dangerous worlds of 1912. The ...more

Contemporary Art & Fashion Programme
Sat 14 Apr 12 - Sun 06 Jan 13
An exciting programme of Contemporary Art & Fashion to include: • a stunning wedding gown designed by Titanic survivor, Lucile , Lady Duff Gordon • enigmatic black and white ...more

El Greco In Focus: The Tears of St Peter 
Sat 31 Mar 12 - Sun 29 Apr 12
An exhibition designed to tell and illustrate the Easter story for Christians and Non-Christians, centred on the famous painting by El Greco of ‘The Tears of St.Peter’, bought by John and Joséphine Bowes in the 19th century. The aim is to show it in a religious context, rather than an art historical context. Formerly unseen works by Spanish artists such as José Antolinez (1635-1675) and Angelo Nardi (1584-1663/5) will be on view, as well as marble sculptures from the reserve collections. There will a special section for children, designed to explain the story in a family friendly way.

June Crisfield Chapman: Wood Engravings
Sat 04 Feb 12 - Sun 13 May 12 
Artist, lecturer and writer June Crisfield Chapman is also an experienced wood engraver whose work in this medium is to be the focus of a new exhibition at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle in the in the New Year. 
June follows two main themes in her engravings: plant forms and characters from literature and the theatre. Her awareness of the dramatic possibilities of working in black and white and of the form that is achievable by clear, clean line is the essential nature of her engraving. She finds fascination and inspiration in the various forms of plants, as well as the myth and folklore surrounding medicinal plants. Theatre subjects have also captivated her since she first became enamoured by transformation scenes in pantomimes.

Study, Design & Create: The 98 Lace Group 
Sat 28 Jan 12 - Sun 15 Apr 12 
Stunning works of art by some of the UK’s greatest makers of contemporary lace are to go on display at The Bowes Museum. The Study, Design and Create exhibition has been inspired by the Museum’s historically significant Blackborne Lace Collection, one of the finest collections of antique lace anywhere in the world.

The exhibition has been organised in response to a surge in interest in lace, with recent collections by designers like McQueen, Dior and Valentino as well as the Sarah Burton dress worn by Kate Middleton at her wedding to Prince William earlier this year.

Charles Dickens' 200th Anniversary: Model House
Sat 28 Jan 12 - Mon 31 Dec 12
A display of Dickensrelated objects to mark the anniversary, including an exceptional scale model of his house at 48 Doughty Street in London (now the Dickens House Museum). This comes complete with ...more

Paquin Winter 1911 - the Centenary of an Evening Gown
 
Sat 03 Dec 11 - Mon 09 Apr 12
A rare and beautiful evening gown is to be the subject of a new display at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle this winter, taking visitors back one hundred years, to the aristocratic lifestyle of 1911, as portrayed in ITV’s Downton Abbey. The dress was created by French fashion designer Madame Paquin, known for her modern and innovative designs. Credited with being the first female couturier, in the early 1900s she had a prestige equal to that of The House of Worth, clothing the wealthy elite.

Dutch Landscapes: Paintings from the Royal Collection
 
Sat 12 Nov 11 - Sun 11 Mar 12
Dutch Landscapes: Paintings from the Royal Collection , brings together 38 remarkable works from the ‘golden age’ of Dutch painting, generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen...more

At the Heart of Progress: Coal, Iron and Steam since 1750 
Sat 17 Sep 11 - Sun 15 Jan 12 
John P. Eckblad worked as a management consultant to large petrochemical complexes on Teesside in north-eastern England and in northern Europe. In northern England in about 1974, he purchased his  first print of what has become a significant collection of works on paper depicting various aspects of the Industrial Revolution and of the progress of industry.

The exhibition explores this remarkable collection, assembled over the last three and-a-half decades by John P. Eckblad on the subject of work and industry - focussing on heavy industry – the trinity of coal, iron, and steam. Between the 1750s and the 1950s that trinity, beginning as an exotic addition to human life, progressed to an all-encompassing framework for civilization. It did not begin the industrial revolution but it drastically changed the scale and pace of industrial development, transforming the economy, the appearance, and the culture of Europe and America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Between the Lines 
Sat 20 Aug 11 - Sun 20 Nov 11
A unique exhibition of textile sculptures is to go on display in the new Fashion & Textile Gallery at The Bowes Museum. Created by textile artist Naseem Darbey, the display is a dramatic showcase of her techniques with theatrical shadow sculptures, inspired by the exciting but short life of fashionable socialite Mary Louise Roosevelt Burke Butterfield.

As an artist and visual storyteller, Naseem explores the relationship between drawing and textiles. Through direct observation she creates ‘hollow’ drawings and 3D installations using stitchwork. Her unique and complex works commence with her drawing directly with a sewing machine, before they are eventually transformed into three-dimensional sculptures each telling their own unique story.

Amazing Egyptians 
 
Sat 02 Jul 11 - Wed 31 Aug 11
An exhibition aimed at families, exploring the customs and traditions surrounding life and death in Ancient Egypt. Follow the journey to the afterlife from the magical spells and the strange superstitions to the bandaging of bodies and the fascinating burials. With treasures abounding and organs galore, this exhibition promises to give visitors a real taste of how the Ancient Egyptians saw the afterlife. And watch out for the mummy!

Vivienne Westwood Shoes: A World Wide Exhibition 
Fri 10 Jun 11 - Sun 10 Jul 11
This exhibition celebrates the ingenuity and creativity of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, focusing on her designs of the ultimate fetish object: the shoe. Following the success of the...more

Painting Flowers: Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists
 
Sat 16 Apr 11 - Sun 09 Oct 11 
Flower power is the theme running through the first large scale show in Britain to celebrate the still life paintings of Henri Fantin-Latour. Although the artist’s name might not be the first ..more

K3TOG: Knit Three Together
Sat 05 Mar 11 - Mon 02 May 11
Needles can be heard clicking away at The Bowes Museum this Spring as the Barnard Castle treasure house indulges in a ‘knitfest.’ The Museum’s Keeper of Textiles, Joanna Hashagen,  has been casting on to offer a display of vintage knitwear, demonstrations and workshops under the collective title K3TOG.Meaning Knit Three Together, K3TOG brings these three strands together: the Museum’s knit collection + people + demonstrations and workshops to equal a focus on all things knitting.

Damien Hirst: Print Maker 
Fri 05 Nov 10 - Sun 27 Feb 11 
Following a £12m refurbishment, The Bowes Museum brings a global name to the Barnard Castle treasure house this autumn with the opening of Damien Hirst: Print Maker . This world class ...more

A Garden of Lantern Birds Museumaker
Sat 20 Oct 10 - Sun 30 Jan 11
As part of the national museumaker project the Museum has commissioned work by maker Laura Baxter. Laura is a craftsperson who uses metals, glass and wood to create jewellery, lighting and decorative installations, combining hand craftsmanship with modern laser and water jet cutting technologies and unique shape memory alloys.

Laura will create a Garden of Lantern Birds, inspired by bird images from all sectors of the Museum’s collection, using flat powder-coated steel. The lanterns will be displayed in the parterre garden during the autumn and winter months. Inspired by the Museum’s Blackborne Lace collection, each bird will display a filigree pattern, lit by an integral light source. As darkness falls the delicacy of lace will be revealed in each lantern bird. Laura will also lead a series of free creative workshops, involving young adults, throughout the period of the exhibition. The final workshops are taking place over the weekend of 29th /30th January.

Teesdale Open Studios
Sat 23 Oct 10 - Sun 07 Nov 10
A selection of work by local artists shown in conjunction with the annual Teesdale Open Studios event, where around the dale participating local artists open their studios to visitors. Works are for sale.

The Bronze Swan & Other Animal Sculptures
Sun 04 Jul 10 - Sun 10 Oct 10
A retrospective exhibition of the work of internationally acclaimed animal sculptor Sally Arnup, featuring bronzes of a wide range of animal and birds. The complicated process of making a bronze is explained within the exhibition and the works are for sale.