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 

 

Information about reopening


We are delighted the Prime Minister has announced that museums can reopen this summer. We understand you are excited at the prospect of visiting The Bowes Museum and would like to assure you we have been developing plans to welcome you back into our beautiful building by late August; we are working on vital social distancing measures so you, staff and volunteers can be confident of a safe environment which everyone can enjoy.

We take pride in offering a relaxed and enjoyable day out for all the family, and with that in mind we are extending the Museum passes we have issued in the last year. Our exceptional Norman Cornish exhibition will continue until Autumn 2020 and we are planning to release details of a packed events programme, including the Christmas Market, over the coming weeks.

In the meantime the grounds of The Bowes Museum are open to be enjoyed by walkers and cyclists, in line with the government guidance on COVID-19. The parkland can be accessed through the front pedestrian gates between 10.30-4.45 daily. We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding, and ask people to respect social distancing guidelines when they visit.

You can keep up to date with developments, including our reopening date here or on our Facebook and Twitter.