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

Director's Choice


The Bowes Museum has the richest and most extensive collections of fine and decorative arts in the north of England. Not every object in The Bowes Museum is a masterpiece, but every object is intriguing and interesting, either by virtue of its quality or history, which can often be traced in the archive. John and Joséphine collected extensively and wisely in the 19th century; the later additions in the 20th and 21st centuries saw the same interest and knowledge applied to a wider range of collections, which have considerably enriched John and Joséphine’s choice into the fields of English decorative arts, local history and archaeology. There is thus always something more to be said or researched about its existing collections; in addition, the museum occasionally adds to its collections if finances and quality allow. In recent years, we have looked closely at our paintings by Goya and Canaletto; considered John and Joséphine’s purchases of modern art in Second Empire Paris and set them against cutting edge modern British art with our own exhibition programme; and instigated programmes of conservation and research on our silver swan, and the recent gifts of the Lady Ludlow collection of porcelain and The Blackborne Collection of lace. ‘Director’s choice’ may therefore not be the ‘best’ or most valuable objects in the collection, so much as items that are significant within our own collections, and in turn throw light on the wider world beyond.

Director's Choice Spring 2014

Reginald Grenville Eves R.A (1876-1941)
Winding Road
Birch Trees with Houses
Over the Hills, Yorkshire
March Day, Sussex
Oil on panel, 1973.103.43-46

Reginald Grenville Eves was born in 1876, the son of William Henry Eves, a London Justice of the Peace. He spent his early years in London and Sussex and was educated at University College School and later at Slade School of Fine Art where he studied under Alphonse Legros, Frederick Brown and Henry Tonks. 

After leaving home as a young man he spent a number of years living in a cottage known as Allan’s Hill at Holwick, near Middleton-in-Teesdale and developed a great affection for the area, returning frequently throughout his life for holidays. Eves went on to become one of Britain’s leading portrait painters during the first and second world wars. He was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1933 and a Royal Academician in 1939. Although already in his 60s he was commissioned as an official war artist in 1940, sadly dying just a year later in 1941.

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 info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, 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…