Turner Contemporary

Kent, CT9 1HG

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Just like its namesake, Turner Contemporary – which opened in April 2011 following a £17 million development – bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary art.

JMW Turner loved Margate; he first visited aged 11 when his parents sent him to school in Love Lane. After returning to sketch the town aged 21, he became a regular visitor. More than 100 of Turner’s works were inspired by the East Kent coast. It was the unique quality of light in this part of Kent that drew Turner back – he remarked to the influential art critic John Ruskin that 'the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe'.  

Turner’s relationship with his landlady in Margate, Mrs Booth, was clearly special to him – he even called himself ‘Mr Booth’ after the death of her husband. Mrs Booth’s seafront guest house was originally situated on the same site where the gallery has been built.

Turner Contemporary was nominated for the Art Fund Prize 2012.

10% off in shop

Valid to 31 December 2018

Enjoy 10% off shop purchases at the Turner Contemporary with your National Art Pass

Turner Contemporary has no permanent collection of its own, but thanks to its partnership with Tate there's always a supply of Turners on display – the gallery promises at least one at any time. The programme of temporary exhibitions focuses on art from 1750 to the present that has a dialogue with Turner's work and legacy.

Venue information

Turner Contemporary

Free to all

Rendezvous, Kent, CT9 1HG

Tel: + 44 (0) 1843 233000


Opening times

Tue - Sun, including Public Holidays

10am - 6pm during the summer
10am - 5pm winter to spring

Closed Mondays except public holidays
Closed 25 – 26 Dec

Cafe opening times:
Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 4.30pm
Friday & Saturday evenings, 6.30 – 10pm

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)