The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2014 > Hockney, Printmaker

Hockney, Printmaker

7 June – 28 September 2014

Marking the 60th anniversary of David Hockney’s prolific career as a printmaker this exhibition presented over 60 works by the Yorkshire born artist, charting a print career which began in 1954. It was a career furthered almost by accident when he discovered that the printmaking department at London’s Royal College of Art gave out free materials; a boon for the impoverished, working class student. 


Focusing on Hockney’s two main print techniques – etching and lithography – the exhibition, curated by Richard Lloyd, Head of Prints at Christie’s, gave an informative, enlightening and entertaining overview of the artist’s graphic career to date, while revealing the thought processes and technical expertise underlying the works. 

The show included well known works such as A Rake’s Progress – Hockney’s first major etching project – modelled on William Hogarth’s  eponymous set of prints; his Weather series and Swimming Pool prints.


The show also comprised of portraits of some of Hockney’s famous sitters and friends, including his muse, the fashion designer Celia Birtwell. Later works featured a selection of prints created using photocopiers, plus examples of his computer drawings including Rain on the Studio Window – a forerunner to his celebrated iPad works.


Hockney, Printmaker was organised by
Dulwich Picture Gallery with The Bowes Museum

Related Events

Gallery Talk
10 June, 8 July, 12 August, 9 September, 2.30
Join the Museum’s Keeper of Paintings, Emma House, for an introduction to this exhibition.

Hockney: Practical Ideas for Printing in the Primary Classroom
13 June, 10.00 – 3.00, £35.00 per delegate (includes lunch)

To coincide with this exhibition, the Museum is offering primary teachers the opportunity to participate in an interactive and practical CPD course run by local artist and printmaker, Vicky Holbrough. Booking required on 01833 690606 ext 242

15 September, 10.00 - 3.00,

A one-off opportunity to ask the Curator of our Hockney, Printmaker exhibition Richard Lloyd, International Head, Print Department at Christie's, anything you like: whether it be what he had for tea last night, when he first met David Hockney and how he chose which prints to put into the exhibition. To take part post your questions on 15 September between 10.00 & 3.00 on our Twitter or Facebook page using the hashtag #AskACurator and find out everything you wanted to know.

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.