The Bowes Museum is continuing to expand its international reputation by furthering its cultural links with China and opening up a dialogue with venues across the United Arab Emirates.
Following visits to Russia, India, the United States and China, the Museum’s Director Adrian Jenkins revisits the latter country this month (May 2018) to continue the work of partnership building, collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge, with the expectation of reaping mutual short and long term benefits for all parties involved.
Mr Jenkins has also been invited as one of only two English regional museum Directors to present a paper to the four-day International Forum of Museum Directors, to be held in Nanjing, organised by the Louvre in Paris. Other speakers include the Directors of international museums including London’s National Gallery, the Head of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Director of the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi.
Mr Jenkins will deliver his paper on the subject of The Creation of The Bowes Museum: A French Museum on English Soil, highlighting and explaining the changing tastes in France during the era of the Museum founders, John and Joséphine Bowes. He will also detail how the founders’ own tastes developed as they moved forward from the purchase of the traditional to modern art for their collections.
“The international treasures that John and Joséphine Bowes were collecting were very avant-garde for the time,” he said.
This will be Mr Jenkins’ second trip to China, as the country continues to absorb and enjoy how the Western cultural world ticks.
His visit follows hot on the heels of a scoping visit to the United Arab Emirates by the Museum’s Exhibitions Manager, George Harris, as part of the UK-Gulf Exhibition Programme led by the British Council. The aim of the visit was to explore opportunities for collaboration on the Museum’s expanding touring exhibition programme.
Drawing on The Bowes Museum’s wealth of knowledge and partnership working, a promotional brochure, informed by its international work, has also been created by Mr Harris to showcase the unique exhibitions the Museum has to offer encompassing traditional and contemporary work.
As a result of Mr Jenkins’ initial visit to the USA, the El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum exhibition, which received national media acclaim when shown at The Wallace Collection in London in 2017, will tour in America in the near future.