NEWS: The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell @ Great North Museum: Hancock | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Gertrude Bell on horseback, Kubbet Duris  1900

© Gertrude Bell Archive, Newcastle University

Hailing from Country Durham, Gertrude Bell may just be one of the most interesting figures our region has had to offer. Described as the female Lawrence of Arabia, Bell led a life of adventure, traversing landscapes, mastering languages and training kings. Funded by her wealthy background, she obtained a first class degree from Oxford in Modern History and extensively travelled across continents, developing a keen interest in the Middle East.

By the close of World War I, Bell was advising Winston Churchill on the future of what would become the state of Iraq, playing a key role in shaping the Middle East in the aftermath of the war. Throughout her life, she found herself in male-dominated spheres of society, however whether she was dealing with British government officials or the leaders of Arab tribes, she stayed resilient and proved her expertise and knowledge.

It is this interesting life that has led to a one of a kind exhibition, created in partnership with Newcastle University and Great North Museum: Hancock. It promises to show, for the first time all together in one place, different artifacts from Bell’s life. From personal photographs and writings, to objects that have been loaned from various institutes across the country, they promise to portray the tumultuous life of one of Britain’s most overlooked women.

Despite a dodgy looking film released in 2015, starring Nicole Kidman as our good old Gertrude, Bell remains relatively under the radar. Don’t miss this intimate inside look into the life of a truly extraordinary woman.

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell runs at Great North Museum: Hancock from Saturday 30th January until Tuesday 3rd May.

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