Paul Scott: New American Scenery
Paul Scott: New American Scenery

Paul Scott: New American Scenery

4 April - 6 September 2020


A new exhibition of works by the contemporary artist Paul Scott will showcase his modern approach to traditional transfer printed ceramics alongside items from his own collection that influenced and relate to them.


New American Scenery opens at The Bowes Museum on 4 April and features works of historical transferwares that have been updated for a contemporary audience.


The Cumbrian based artist has spent the last five years investigating early transferwares exported to the United States, looking at the contemporary landscape of North America and the Staffordshire origins of the pictorial ceramics.  


He has worked with experts at the Stoke on Trent Potteries to create new moulds and engravings which replicate the tinted blue earthenware glaze and which are the closest things in the 21st century to follow the 19th century processes.


Scott uses the familiar blue and white ceramics, which were available cheaply in the 19th century so more commonly used than collected, to tell modern stories based on his trips travelling around America.


Influenced by Andy Warhol and his use of disintegration; Scott reworks antique wares, erasing, adding and recreating new ‘historical’ patterns by adding newly printed decals on blank ceramics or reusing cut and broken fragments.


Visitors to the Barnard Castle based Museum will be able to compare modern and conceptual works of art with what was made in the past, mostly for everyday or dinner table use.


The Bowes Museum’s curator of ceramics, Dr Howard Coutts, said: “We hope that this latest display of Paul’s work will enthuse visitors who’ll be able to see the contrasts between the old and new shapes and forms and make them think about decoration and what it means.”


Paul Scott said: “I’m really pleased to be showing my transferwares in the concise and very fine collection of historic ceramics at The Bowes Museum and to be able to complement what’s there and bring it up to date in a really lovely setting.”


Works on show will be contemporary with historical reference pieces, including, among others, a 19th century cup plate made for the American market, alongside Scott’s 21st century update featuring the Indian Point Nuclear Power Station on the Hudson River.  Framed within a classic Oak leaf border pattern, the new plate has been made using a contemporary engraving by Paul Holdway, the last engraver at the Spode Works before its closure in 2009.


New American Scenery commemorates and celebrates a rich, complex historical genre that is inextricably linked to wider visual and political cultures.


Paul Scott: New American Scenery is open from 4 April until 6 September.


The Bowes Museum is open from 10am to 5pm every day. Entry to Café Bowes and the shop is free.  For more information on our exhibitions and events programme please see our website:




Notes to editors:


  • The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in.  The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 
  • The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England.
  • Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
  • The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation.
  • The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626,



Categories: News

Information about closing

19 March 2020

Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, The Bowes Museum is now closed until further notice. The health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff is our priority.

Where events can be rescheduled we will endeavour to do so but please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Bowes Museum during these unprecedented times.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we will be working on other ways of sharing our story and collection via our digital platforms. Stay posted for online videos, conversations and more.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Bowes Museum during this unpredictable time. We hope to come back to you with a reopening date shortly, for now, please stay safe and help protect the vulnerable.

25 March 2020

It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.

Since the Museum closed on Wednesday 18 March the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.

The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions. PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said "This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189"

The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.

There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.

In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."

You can keep up to date with developments here or on our Facebook and Twitter.

We’ll be back…