Named after its founders, John & Joséphine Bowes, this beautiful French château-style building opened to the public in 1892. 125 years later, the Museum has more than ever for you to enjoy.

Home to the most important collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North of England, it is one of Britain’s most fascinating museum experiences. Paintings by El Greco, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Gainsborough, Goya and other masterpieces can be found in the impressive picture galleries. You will also find iconic objects like the Silver Swan musical automaton, an award winning fashion and textiles gallery, an important collection of ceramics and a wide range of beautiful historic furniture.

Over the course of the past year we have been assembling 125 of your favourite objects from the Museum’s collection. Adrian Jenkins, Director of the Museum, started the ball rolling with 16 of his personal favourites. These are highlighted throughout the Museum, where you can discover some of their untold stories. You can join the conversation and share your thoughts on the objects as they are chosen by designers, artists, celebrities, peers and curators.


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