The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2017 > Turkish Tulips

Turkish Tulips


29 July 2017 - 5 November 2017

Follow the trail of tulips through the Museum this summer for an enlightening insight into our relationship with Europe and the Middle East brought to you through the eyes of over 30 contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Cornelia Parker, Gavin Turk and Sir Peter Blake.

The familiar tulip becomes un-familiar, as its role in history chronicles a greater play. When the world stage gets confusing we need a simple tale to talk us through it. Thus does our floral court jester guide us through our past and helps us to understand how to navigate our future.

 This is a story that needs to be told. It is a story about migration and about how much is owed to the East – a land steeped in culture, mathematics, science and philosophy.  Now the war-torn lands from whence the refugees flee, as human addiction to the black gold of a carbon economy, sweeps the planet like wildfire.

This is
also a romantic story set in 17thcentury Europe, a fable about social inequality and extravagance. As well it is an allegory of aesthetics and science – about beauty and obsession. It is a trademark of our decorative arts, of fertility, of fecund optimism, of spring and rebirth. It is an Islamic motif representing love and passion as well as sacrifice and the blood of martyrs, adopted by the Europeans as an emblem of sophistication, civilization and learning. 

 

Create Your Own Tulip


Join us in creating a tiptoe of origami tulips in celebration of this exhibition. Download the pattern to make your own and share your creation on social media and tag us.
As well as tulips we would love to see other designs.

#Turkish Tulips #Origami 

 

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.