The Bowes Museum > What's On > Current Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions


The Bowes Museum offers an ongoing programme of exhibitions to complement the display of its permanent collections. These range from major blockbusters often curated by staff, here at the Museum, to touring exhibitions and works on loan from other institutions.

Current Exhibitions


Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World

1 February – 3 May 2020

Explore a world of medieval myths and legends, of tales of heroic deeds and chivalric honour; for the most part the knights depicted by the Pre-Raphaelites in the 19th century were lovers as well as fighters. Masterworks by Rossetti, Millais and Burne Jones bring these tales and myths to life.
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blimey! Lucretia

7 March - 10 May 2020

blimey! Lucretia is an exhibition which explores the representation of women in culture. The blimey! collective, a group of female led Darlington artists, took inspiration from The Power and The Virtue: Guido Reni's Death of Lucretia exhibition, to delve into the story of the painting of Lucretia to create this immersive exhibition.
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Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection

16 November 2019 - 17 May 2020

Celebrating the centenary of acclaimed artist Norman Cornish MBE, this major retrospective tells the story of his enduring career with the most comprehensive collection of his work ever assembled, including a number of previously unseen pieces.
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Judy Hurst – Illumination: the Gateway to Eternity

21 September – 22 March 2020

Judy Hurst returns to The Bowes Museum with another display of intricate illustrative works. She specialises in the historic and traditional technique of painting on vellum (calfskin). Her work is inspired by her knowledge, respects and deep love of nature and the patterns that she believes are fundamental to existence.
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Information about closing


19 March 2020

Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, The Bowes Museum is now closed until further notice. The health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff is our priority.

Where events can be rescheduled we will endeavour to do so but please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact info@thebowesmuseum.org.uk, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Bowes Museum during these unprecedented times.

Whilst the Museum is closed, we will be working on other ways of sharing our story and collection via our digital platforms. Stay posted for online videos, conversations and more.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Bowes Museum during this unpredictable time. We hope to come back to you with a reopening date shortly, for now, please stay safe and help protect the vulnerable.

25 March 2020

It is with great sadness that The Bowes Museum has taken the decision to temporarily close all gates to the grounds following a spate of vandalism around the parkland.

Since the Museum closed on Wednesday 18 March the benches in the story area have been damaged, the totem pole pulled over and broken, there have been attempts to pull out outdoor trail markers and branches have been pulled down and plants uprooted.

The Museum is working with the police to find the perpetrators of these actions. PC Michael Banks of Durham Constabulary said "This is a shameful piece of criminal damage within the grounds of a historical location in Barnard Castle anyone with information please contact Durham Constabulary quoting reference number DHM23032020-0189"

The Director of The Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, said: "It is a shame that the actions of a few will have an impact on many but this closure also ties in with the latest government advice to stay at home to help restrict the spread of coronavirus and the Museum is following in the footsteps of other organisations who have closed gated parks and gardens.

There are tips from our education officer on the Museum's social media platforms for keeping the kids, and yourselves, entertained while in isolation and we'll be updating the website regularly with new and exciting information about the collection.

In the meantime, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Museum and grounds when it reopens."

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

We’ll be back…