The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2018 > Still Life Is Real Life

Still Life Is Real Life


10 November - 10 March 2019

This innovative display celebrates timeless aspects of everyday life, inviting social comparisons between historic paintings from The Bowes Museum’s still life collection and modern age photographs of the local Barnard Castle market.

For hundreds of years, markets have connected communities, traders and craftspeople and Barnard Castle’s market is renowned as being amongst the oldest in the country.  Personal stories and situations are beautifully captured in images which are shown to be universally relevant to characters and painted scenes from bygone eras.  The exhibits evoke a strong sense of place and community, engaging the viewer in the story and highlighting how little has changed over the years.  The Museum’s collections are shown to be inextricably linked to the local area and its rich cultural landscape.

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.