Stories in Stitch

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm

The Bowes Museum

An extraordinary exhibition showcasing a diverse collection of samplers and embroidered pictures from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

The exclusive display brings together various styles of stitching, many of which have never been seen before, offering a rare glimpse into the evolution and popularity of domestic embroidery in Britain.

Items from The Bowes Museum’s collection, some retrieved from storage after decades, are complemented by loans from private collections. This exhibition offers an opportunity to appreciate the intricate skills and techniques of both amateur and professional makers, including the remarkable work of Mary Linwood. Known for her ‘needle paintings’ that mimic the brush strokes of Old Masters like Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, Linwood’s work highlights the artistic potential of embroidery.

Additionally, the exhibition features the award-winning creations of local artist Dorothy Ann French, whose embroidered pictures reflect the rich cultural heritage of the North East of England. French’s connection to the Bowes family and her success in various craft competitions in the 1890s add a personal touch to the display.


Newgate Barnard Castle DL12 8NP

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Until 29 September 2024

£15.50 (Under 18s free)

  • Mon 10am – 5pm
  • Tue 10am – 5pm
  • Wed 10am – 5pm
  • Thu 10am – 5pm
  • Fri 10am – 5pm
  • Sat 10am – 5pm
  • Sun 10am – 5pm
  • Level access
  • Lifts to all areas
  • Large-format print
  • Walking aids - wheelchair
  • Mobility scooters
  • Accessible toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Adult changing facilities
  • Mobile gallery stools
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