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The Definitive Collection

The culmination of the Norman Cornish Centenary Year was the opening of The Definitive Collection at The Bowes Museum on 16th November 2019. The exhibition opened to wide acclaim from the national press and media with a standout contribution from BBC Radio 4 Today, following a visit from their team during ‘the hanging’ of the exhibition. The broadcast (4 minutes), to over 7 million listeners, featured an interview with Professor Jean Brown of Northumbria University who regarded Cornish’s work as being ‘up there with Rembrandt, Degas and Lautrec’. To hear the broadcast follow the link: Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection.

All visitor records at The Bowes Museum have been broken and currently the exhibition has been enjoyed by 51,000 people who have travelled from all points of the compass to enjoy the exhibits. A small selection of comments follows:

I came by train from London just to see this and it’s been an amazing experience.

I came up from West Sussex just for this exhibition and it was well worth it.

The work of Norman Cornish helped me gain greater insight into the lives of my forbears.

I found it very moving, as well as informative.

Stunning originals-wow! Stunning art that really portrays his place and time.

None of us anticipated the events of the past 12 months with an extension to the exhibition requested until May 17th followed by a period of closure, and then a re-opening on August 1st until January 17th 2021. The interruption generated some creative responses on- line to maintain public interest, with a virtual tour accompanied by John and Dorothy Cornish plus a pre-recorded centenary lecture from Mike Thornton.

In addition, the staff at The Bowes Museum created an extensive outreach programme of community arts events and master classes. In total, 34 activities with 2,092 participants who enjoyed the workshops, gallery based activities and school visits. One example was the ‘Our Street’ project which encouraged people to capture an aspect of where they lived through their eyes, translated into drawings or photographs. A huge thankyou to those who delivered the sessions, and the participants who were inspired by Cornish’s work, to ‘get involved.’

Recently, Beverly Knight, of Darcus arts magazine, interviewed John Cornish in honour of the significance of the exhibition and the stature of The Bowes Museum. The full article is reproduced with kind permission of Darcus by following the link: Norman Cornish: The Definative Collection at The Bowes Museum.

A huge thankyou to all of those who have supported the exhibition and also to those behind the scenes who worked so hard to make it happen, and become one of the ‘must visit’ exhibitions of the past 12 months.

Breaking News: The Bowes Museum will be closed from November 4th until December 2nd

Cornish Centenary

Throughout the centenary year, an interesting range of themed exhibitions is planned in order to commemorate Norman’s life and to celebrate his work.

If you would like to find out more click below:

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