The Bowes Museum > Collection > Explore The Collection > Director's Choice

Director's Choice


The Bowes Museum has the richest and most extensive collection of fine and decorative arts in the north of England. Every object is intriguing and interesting, either by virtue of its quality or history. John and Joséphine collected extensively and wisely in the 19th century; later additions in the 20th and 21st centuries saw the same interest and knowledge applied to a wider range of collections, into the fields of English decorative arts, local history and archaeology. Therefore, there is always something to be said about the collections and the ‘Director’s choice’ may not be the ‘best’ or most valuable object in the collection, but one that is significant and throws light on the wider world beyond.

The spring of 2020 posed challenges to museums around the world when, like others, The Bowes Museum had to close its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We didn't want our visitors and followers to miss out on the amazing collection so our Director, Adrian Jenkins, gave virtual tours, full of his personal insight into the couple who created this fantastic Museum, revealing some of the hidden treasures and secrets within the collection and how some of the objects came to be here, including his favourites.

Watch all videos below and follow the link for more #MuseumFromHome content.

Happy Birthday The Bowes Museum


The Passion Altarpiece


The 19th Century Picture Gallery


The Religious Picture Gallery


The 18th Century Picture Gallery


The Bowes Museum is closed!


All of us at The Bowes Museum are really sad to announce that we have had to close until Wednesday 2 December in line with new national restrictions.

As a result, we have been forced to cancel events that were due to take place during this time. If you have a ticket for an event or entry to the Museum before this date, you will be contacted to arrange a refund or to make an alternative booking. All Christmas activities including the Christmas Market and Santa’s Grotto are expected to go ahead as planned.

Happily, we are still able to welcome walkers and cyclists to the Park and Gardens as usual, including the Playground area, and cars will be admitted between 10.00 and 4.00 daily.

We have so loved welcoming people into the building again, safely enjoying our displays, eating in Café Bowes and browsing in our shop, so please in the meantime keep safe and we hope to see you back again soon.

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