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 open!


The Bowes Museum is looking forward to welcoming you!

You are able to enjoy the hugely popular Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection, Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World and blimey! Lucretia exhibitions as well as an exciting programme of family workshops throughout the summer holidays.

The health and well-being of our visitors, staff and volunteers are our priority, and in line with the latest Government guidance on COVID-19 the changes we have made will help you to feel confident, safe and enjoy your visit.

Entry to the Museum has to be booked before you visit here or by telephoning us on 01833 690606. Details about what to expect when you visit are available when you click here.