Art, Intellectual life
The Bowes Museum is a purpose-built museum following the design of a French chateau in rural Teesdale. It stands as testimony to the vision of John Bowes and his wife Josephine to create, develop and make accessible to the people of the North East fine arts on a scale not seen outside London.
Built in the heart of rural County Durham in the latter half of the 1800s, today it houses an outstanding internationally significant collection of European fine and decorative arts.
John Bowes had spent 15 years in Parliament before moving to Paris where he met his future wife (an actress and talented painter). Sadly neither lived to see the museum completed.
The museum still adds to the collection today, and hosts internationally renowned exhibitions which attract visitors from across the country, and beyond.