The Bowes Museum > Collection > Explore The Collection > Galleries > Decorative Arts

Decorative Arts

The first two galleries in this suite of rooms are dressed with furnishings and art from the reigns of three kings of France; Louis XIV, XV and XVI. Each had a distinctive artistic style, reflecting the tastes and culture of the day and these rooms display some of the Museum’s finest examples from each period, many of which were purchased by John and Joséphine Bowes.

The English Interiors Gallery, opened in May 2010, offers an impressionistic interpretation of four centuries of the English domestic interior. Original panelling, mostly saved from historic houses, some of which are no longer standing, form the basis of the interpretation. These are displayed alongside ceramics, paintings and some of the finest pieces from the English furniture collection to explain the changing styles from the Tudor to the Victorian period.



Baroque, Rococo and Chinoiserie

English Interiors

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.