The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2011 > Damien Hirst: Print Maker

Damien Hirst: Print Maker


Following a £12m refurbishment, The Bowes Museum brought a global name to the Barnard Castle treasure house with the opening of Damien Hirst: Print Maker.

This world class exhibition, curated by former Turner Prize judge Greville Worthington, explored this foremost contemporary artist through his renowned print works.

The striking show of more than 50 works, many unseen by the public, had been loaned by several northern collectors and was not one to miss. With the support of these private collectors, the Museum drew together Hirst’s best quality prints to form the first exhibition to re-establish a contemporary programme at The Bowes Museum.

In the process of print making Hirst uses a variety of techniques to achieve his aims. Since the 1990s he has produced a range of high quality prints, often proving technically difficult and complex, exploring similar themes to those in his paintings and installations.

The works are ambitious, testing the boundaries of print making as a skill, and this exhibition brought together his most impressive pieces in terms of both scale and technical ability.

The exhibition incorporated themes of opposites such as life and death, necessity and luxury & black and white; examining the complications and frailties of human existence.

Damien Hirst: Print Maker

included series of works such as The Last Supper – a set of 13 prints designed to mimic drug packaging; using humour and pathos to question whether drugs are as vital to man’s survival as food. The display also included a stunning print of For the Love of God – portraying the artist’s famous diamond skull sculpture.

The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue, written by Mr Worthington, which can be purchased from the Museum.

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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.