February fun with The Bowes Museum
February fun with The Bowes Museum

February fun with The Bowes Museum

The Museum takes all its half term events online for you to join in with.

The Bowes Museum has lots of fun planned, even though the doors are closed, as it takes its February half term events all online.


There will be a week of family entertainment starting on Saturday 13th February when you can join Julia Dunn from our education team in an online tutorial on the Museum’s YouTube channel showing you how to make a beautiful and unique Valentine's Day card.


On Monday 15th February she’ll be creating a surprise spring craft – check out the Museum’s YouTube channel to find out what awaits on the day!


Then on Wednesday 17th February some of the Young Curators from the Bouts Project will be posting a quiz for those aged 13 to 25 on the Young People’s section of the Museum’s website.  The winner will receive a contemporary version of the Bouts painting that has been commissioned from the artist Rachel McGivern.  The closing date for entries is 11.59pm on Sunday 28th February.


On Thursday 18th February, you can learn how to produce money as Julia makes a Roman coin out of foil on the Museum’s YouTube channel.


And you can discover more about your hidden talents in a mystery art challenge on Friday the 19th February as Julia unveils some crafty surprises, again on the Museum’s YouTube channel.


Then on Saturday 20th February you can find out how to make lots of fun crafts inspired by different items in the collection all from the comfort of your own home as the Museum hosts a live virtual Family Fun Day; A Day In with The Bowes Museum.


All you need to do to join in is register online at thebowesmuseum.org.uk, by Friday 12th February and you’ll be sent a free craft kit containing everything you’ll need on the day, with the exception of some scissors and colouring pens or pencils.


Julia will tour around the Museum telling you more about the items that have inspired the crafts you’re going to make together as she takes you step by step through recreating them.


At 10 o’clock you’ll be able to have a go at making an origami house as Julia joins you from the Dolls House in the Museum’s toy gallery.


At 11 o’clock you’ll find out how to make a handprint Silver Swan as you discover more about the Museum’s most iconic object.


Then at 1 o’clock Julia will be in the ceramics galleries as she shows you how to create stained glass patterns using tissue paper and finally at 2 o’clock you’ll find out how to make a monkey puppet out of the envelope that your craft kit was packed in, as Julia tells you more about a painting called "A School of Monkeys", featuring the cheeky animals.


All sessions will last around 20 minutes and you’ll be able to access them via a unique link that will be included in your confirmation email when you register.


But before all that, there’s still time for people aged 13 to 25 to be in with a change to have their art work displayed at The Bowes Museum and in a virtual exhibition tour. 


The Young Curators have launched a creative brief inspired by the painting St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child made in the workshop of Dieric Bouts (c.1415 – 1475) on the theme of worship.   Who do you admire, why and what does devotion mean to you?  It doesn’t have to be a god, it can be a family member or celebrity, anyone or anything.


The deadline for entries is 10am on Friday 5th February 2021.


To find out more, please read the full creative brief, T&Cs and application form are all available to download from The Bowes Museum website here: https://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/Learn/Young-People/Opportunities


For any questions, please feel free to email the Project Coordinator: Jessica.white@thebowesmusuem.org.uk


Students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington and Teesside University have been working with the artists Richard Bliss and Melanie Kyles to create artworks in response to the Bouts painting and these will also be featured in the virtual exhibition, alongside works by students at Greenfield Community College and Auckland Youth and Community Centre.


The Museum is currently closed due to the National Lockdown but the parkland and gardens are still open for people to enjoy, following government guidelines.  The main vehicular access gates are open from 10am to 4pm daily.






Notes to Editors


Please credit the painting attached: A School of Monkeys by The Flemish School of Paintings to The Bowes Museum


  • 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. www.artscouncil.org.uk
  • 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, www.discoverdurham.co.uk



Categories: News

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

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. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

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 Café 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.

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.