What To See & Do This Autumn At The Bowes Museum

Josephine Bowes

Can I just say … I love The Bowes Museum.

My most fondest and indeed earliest memory of it is its infamous silver swan. I remember how enormous it seemed when I was a little girl. If  you were lucky enough to be in the entrance hall when it sprung musically  to life and started doing it’s swan song it was magical!

When I’ve visited as a grown up its always seemed very quiet but still just as beautiful.

Image Credit: The Bowes Museum

This bank holiday weekend saw the launch of a brand  new display; Joséphine Bowes – The Woman of Fashion as part of the museum’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

You will find out how the daughter of a French clock maker rose to become a woman of wealth and influence.

This is in addition to the two major summer exhibitions that are continuing into the autumn; Turkish Tulips, featuring work by Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst, Cornelia Parker, Sir Peter Blake, Fiona Banner, Matt Collishaw, Adam Dant and Yinka Shonibare MBE and Clockwork Garden, an interactive family exhibition by the national children’s arts charity, the House of Fairy Tales.

Clockwood Garden Exhibition

There are also a series of Heritage Open Days where the purpose-built Reference Library and Archives Reading Room will be open to visitors on Friday 8th September, with tours taking place between 11am-3pm. This year the display will include material from the Museum’s First World War Commemoration Project To Serve King and Country.

These tours are completely free of charge; however the normal admission charge will apply if you wish to access the galleries, where you can view the Turkish TulipsClockwork Garden and Joséphine Bowes: The Woman of Fashion. It is also offers a final opportunity to see Michael Eden: Wedgwood and Wouldn’t.

From The Turkish Tulips Exhibition


On Saturday 9th September there is a Leaving their Mark: Conscientious Objectors & the Richmond Castle Cell Block,which will explore the experiences of conscientious objectors during WW1, uncovering some of the very personal and often moving stories of individuals held at Richmond Castle during the conflict. The talk alone costs just £3, or is free with museum admission.


Following on Saturday 7th October is A Day for all Generations, which as part of the Museum’s WWI Commemoration Project will cover A Taste of the Times: Food in WW1 with food historians Jan and Richard Crouch, and  Red, White and Blue: Flowers in the Field, which involves helping create a piece of art depicting a WW1 battlefield with our Education Team.

For fuller details of all The Bowes Museum’s exhibitions and events you can visit their website

If you are a museum fan like us you might like to read about some more of our Northern favourites here.

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