The Magic of the Silver Swan

Mon – Sun, 10am – 5pm

The Bowes Museum

Discover the extraordinary in The Bowes Museum’s landmark exhibition of 2023 which celebrates the 250th anniversary of its most iconic object.

A celebration of automata, clockwork machines, our enduring fascination with mechanical devices, and how we can explore art through technology, The Magic of the Silver Swan features objects, artefacts and artworks from the museum’s collection as well as moving objects and images and kinetic artworks by artists, makers, designers and inventors.

Part of the museum’s Year of Movement, you can see work by contemporary artists including the Turner Prize nominated Yinka Shonibare CBE,  North East based Helen Pailing and Kinnari Saraiya, Tobias Bradford, Bruce Lacey, Rebecca Moss, Martin Smith and Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

The Magic of the Silver Swan  also includes loans from national and international institutions such as: The British Museum; Science Museum; The National Archives; Bodleian Library; Victoria Art Gallery; Kenwood House and Guildhall Library as well as private individuals.

Newgate Barnard Castle DL12 8NP

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8 July 2023—7 January 2024


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  • 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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