Josephine and John both died beforethe museum opened in 1892. Josephine 1874 and John in 1885. It was designed with the collabotation of two architects, Jules Pellechet from France and John Edward Watson of Newcastle. The building was described as '.....big bold and incongruous, looking exactly like a town hall of a major provincial town in France. In a scale it is as gloriously inappropriate for the town to which it belongs as in style.' In 1869 , when building commenced, it was reputed to have cost £100.000 (say £8 Million in 2012) John Bowes and his wife left an endowment of £125,000 and a total of 800 paintings.