Meet the Cultural Apprentices

Catherine & Charlotte
Catherine & Charlotte

Hello, I am Charlotte Thresher, one of two new Cultural Apprentices here at The Bowes Museum.

Previously I studied music, music technology and theatre studies at College for two years then started a project setting up a local record label with a few similar minded people which is still ongoing.

We will be working with several departments, over our 18 months stay here.

We can usually be found in the Exhibitions office working on upcoming and ongoing exhibitions under the supervision of Exhibitions Manager; George Harris.

Recently we set up ‘Conservation Wednesdays’ where every Wednesday we train with the conservators and learn new skills and understanding about the artefacts housed here. Last Wednesday we were carefully dusting furniture currently in store at the moment and also cleaning hats from the textiles collection to go back into storage.

Vacuuming Footman’s Bicorn Hats, date 1850, English
Vacuuming a footman’s bicorn hat, date 1850, English

We have also occasionally been helping out with Education, working with visiting schools and toddler groups. One day stands out in particular: Spooky Magic; Family Fun Day, where there were several activities going on throughout the day such as: a magician putting on regular shows which were increasingly popular, along with craft activities – wand making, pencil toppers and magic hats.

By Charlotte Thresher, Cultural Apprentice

Hi, my name is Catherine and I am also a Cultural Apprentice here at The Bowes Museum.

After originally studying Design Crafts and Textiles at Cleveland College of Art and Design, I almost decided against the idea of working in the Creative Industry after not knowing what career path to take. However, this year I decided to go back to what I know best, and when I saw the opportunity to work at The Bowes Museum, I knew it was something I couldn’t miss.

So far, in our time here, Charlotte and I have had the opportunity to work in various areas of the Museum: from Front of House and Education, to Conservation and Marketing. Only two weeks ago we assisted in an activity day involving 90 school children, where we helped them to make their own version of an amphora pot from clay – both a messy and enjoyable experience!

However, our main role will be within the Exhibitions Team, where we will help to support the up-and-coming exhibitions taking place over the next year.

From all of the collections and exhibitions we currently have at the Museum, I really like the ‘Julian Opie: Collected Works’ exhibition because of the stark contrast between his own work and the pieces from his private collection. His assortment of historic portraits reminds us just how much work and intricate detail went into the paintings of the 17th and 18th century. While his use of various types of media in his own work – including mosaic, video and LEDs – helps to create a unique and engaging display, with features that are bound to catch your eye.

Overall, this has been a great first few weeks for us both, and I can’t wait to see what we get involved with next!

By Catherine Dickinson, Cultural Apprentice

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