Teesdale Open Studios
8 September - 7 October 2012
This was a chance to 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.
Keith Coventry 'Black Bronze White Slaves'
14 July - 16 September 2012
The first exhibition to focus exclusively on the bronze sculptures of celebrated artist Keith Coventry.
Joséphine Bowes & The Costumier
25 June - 6 July 2012
Luca Costigliolo, an internationally celebrated theatrical and historical costumier, re-created the ball gown that Joséphine Bowes is wearing in her portrait seen in the John & Joséphine galleries.
Our Sporting Life
9 June - 27 August 2012
Our Sporting Life was 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 was to raise the profile of the UK’s sports heritage through a programme of nationwide community exhibitions showcasing objects, stories and photographs that relate the development of Great British Sport in the lead up to the Olympics.
Stephen Jones: From Georgiana to Boy George
19 May - 2 September 2012
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, exhibited a selection of his stunning creations at The Bowes Museum.
Complicidades: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
12 May - 24 June 2012
The Bowes Museum was the only UK venue to be included in the European tour of this photographic exhibition featuring prominent 20th century Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera.
El Greco In Focus: The Tears of St Peter
31 March - 29 April 2012
This exhibition was 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 was 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) were on view, as well as marble sculptures from the reserve collections. There was a special section for children, designed to explain the story in a family friendly way.
June Crisfield Chapman: Wood Engravings
4 February - 13 May 2012
Artist, lecturer and writer June Crisfield Chapman is also an experienced wood engraver whose work in this medium was the focus of an exhibition. 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
28 January - 15 April 2012
An exhibition of stunning works of art by some of the UK’s greatest makers of contemporary lace. The Study, Design and Create exhibition was inspired by the Museum’s historically significant Blackborne Lace Collection, one of the finest collections of antique lace anywhere in the world.
The exhibition was organised in response to a surge in interest in lace, with 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 that year.
Charles Dickens' 200th Anniversary: Model House
28 January - 31 December 2012
A display of Dickens-related 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 came complete with room settings – including Dickens’ study – in fine detail. It has been loaned by Margaret Watson, a Friend of The Bowes Museum, who painstakingly put it together over many years, with assistance from a variety of local craftsmen and specialists in miniatures.
The display also featured a long case clock made in the 19th century by Thomas Humphreys Clockmakers of Barnard Castle: the shop was visited by Dickens and inspired him to name his new weekly Master Humphrey’s Clock. There were also ledgers from the grim boarding establishments known as the Yorkshire Schools – including Shaw’s Academy at nearby Bowes Village, depicted by Dickens as “Dotheboys Hall”.
A unique oil painting by Phiz of a scene from Nicholas Nickleby had been loaned by a private collector for the display.
Paquin Winter 1911 - the Centenary of an Evening Gown
3 December 2011 - 9 April 2012
A rare and beautiful evening gown was the subject of this display, 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
12 November 2011 - 11 March 2012
This exhibition brought together 38 remarkable works from the ‘golden age’ of Dutch painting, generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen.
At the Heart of Progress: Coal, Iron and Steam since 1750
17 September 2011 - 15 January 2012
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 explored 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.