The Bowes Museum seeks new trustees to reshape it for the future.

The Bowes Museum seeks new trustees to reshape it for the future.

Closing date 31 October, 2020.

With visitor numbers growing steadily, above expectations despite the pandemic and a successful reopening under its belt, The Bowes Museum is now looking for new trustees to help reshape it, to ensure its continued success and that it remains relevant for future generations. 


The Barnard Castle based Museum, which was founded by the philanthropists and art collectors John and Joséphine Bowes, opened to the public in 1892 and became a charitable trust in 2000. 


It is home to the most important collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North of England. It houses over 30,000 items ranging from fashion and textiles, furniture and ceramics, to silver and metal as well as sculpture and paintings; including the UK’s largest collection of Spanish paintings outside London and many Old Masters. It is also home to the majestic life size Silver Swan, which is one of the most famous working automatons in the world. 


The Museum is a Grade 1 listed building built in the style of a French château, which sits in 20 acres of Grade 2 listed parkland and holds Designated status from the government in recognition of the outstanding significance of the building and its outstanding collection. 


With a reputation for holding world class exhibitions, including the internationally highly acclaimed Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal, the Museum is now looking for people with energy and a passion for the Arts as well as practical skills and experience to join its board of trustees. 


Peter Mothersill, Chairman of The Bowes Museum, said: “This is a really exciting time to join the Museum as we want to create a more diverse, relevant and inclusive board that reflects the world around us, as we map out the course we’d like to take into the 2020’s. We want to hear from people from all social and ethnic backgrounds, and particularly those with expertise in community relations, education and marketing as well as those with advanced social media and digital skills but no-one is excluded from applying and we’re looking forward to seeing the applications.” 


Trustee posts are entirely voluntary with a basic commitment to attend at least four main board meetings a year as well as the Annual General Meeting. All trustees are expected to join at least one internal committee in line with their particular interests. 


The Bowes Museum pursues a non-discrimination, equal opportunities policy. The closing date for applications is 31 October 2020. For further information, please apply to: Simone 

Wain, Executive Assistant, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, DL12 8NP or email: 




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 National Portfolio Organisation 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

The Bowes Museum is closed!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.