Preparations for Picture Gallery Refurbishment

It’s Thursday afternoon. A snowy one at The Bowes Museum. But it hasn’t deterred our visitors who have battled the weather in their numbers to come and see the Damien Hirst exhibition. “Well worth it” according to one of the crowd.

Me, I’m preparing for the onset of another bout of capital works – just putting the programme together for the refurbishment of the three large (cavernous) picture galleries on the 2nd floor. Its a complicated task trying to balance the need to maintain a great visitor offer whilst having to close each gallery in turn. The team are helping by coming up with excellent ideas for a ‘not to be missed’ programme of events and exhibitions to run whilst the building is a little disrupted.

My programme shows work is due to start in early December, with works running through to the Summer. Our first gallery will open in April though – or perhaps sooner if everything goes to plan. I’m looking forward to that as I think the newly decorated and re-displayed galleries will look fantastic.

We’ve got quite a lot to do in the galleries; re-glaze the outer skylights, install replacement laylights with integrated UV filters, repair the ceiling plasterwork (damaged by water entry before the roof was repaired), build larger display walls, light the rooms better, and decorate everything. It’s quite a job for the decorator – about 3500m2 I calculate – that’s about 2 years work at my pace!

Has anyone out there been through something similar? What are your experiences?

I’ll keep you posted with progress.


PS – Hope you’ll come soon as you might get a glimpse of the work in progress.


One thought on “Preparations for Picture Gallery Refurbishment

  1. I thought that the Vivienne Westwood exhibition was amazing-truly a “mini-blockbuster”. We visited it three times-yes and bought the book! Also, the drive out from Stockton and back is really idyllic, at any time of year. Apart from the changing exhibitions, I like seeing the rooms and general architecture-and the interesting colours used in the decoration, as in the silverware showcase, with the purple backdrop. Look forward to all future frequent visits-well done.


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