About Us

Welcome to Turner Contemporary

Since Turner Contemporary opened its doors in Margate in 2011, it has been a place for artistic exploration and discovery. Built on the site of the boarding house where JMW Turner stayed during his visits to Margate, the gallery is inspired by the life and work of the celebrated artist, who found inspiration in the town’s skies and light and believed in the power of art as an agent for change. Visitors to Turner Contemporary can enjoy the latest art exhibition, take part in tours or activities, or simply sit and relax in the café while enjoying views of the harbour. The shop features artworks, limited edition prints and specially commissioned clothing and objects by leading contemporary artists and designers.

[Margate] is again fizzing with artistic energy, transformed into a key destination for art-lovers thanks to a cultural renaissance sparked by the opening in 2011 of the Turner Contemporary.

The Telegraph

Designed by the immaculately progressive David Chipperfield, Turner Contemporary is probably the most elegant gallery interior in Britain right now.

The Times

Who We Are

Open since 2011, Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate artist and change agent JMW Turner, and his connection to Margate.

The gallery is housed in a striking David Chipperfield-designed building, on a beautiful sandy-beached coastline, in the vibrantly-creative town of Margate. We present world-class art exhibitions, and are a centre of excellence in creative learning, helping thousands of children, young people and families learn through connecting with art.

Since we opened, Turner Contemporary has welcomed over 4 million visitors, put over £80 million back into the Kent economy and connected with thousands of people from the local community through our world-class programme.

Entry to the gallery and all of our exhibitions is free. To ensure our doors stay open to all, we ask visitors to make a donation at whatever level they can.

Our staff and trustees


So the other day I went to Turner Contemporary, it has made me look at life in a different way, that there is more to life than spending time sitting at home on social media. You have one life and you have to make it count.

Visitor, aged 15



We are widely recognised as the catalyst for the regeneration of Margate and East Kent. The gallery has a track record of transforming lives and driving real positive impact through the arts.


Margate Harbour Arm 'Turner Sunset'


Our home has fast become one of the most exciting creative hubs in the UK with a growing arts scene and a beautiful, inspiring setting.

JMW Turner (1775-1851)

Built on the site where JMW Turner visited, you can see the skies that inspired much of his work from our windows. We celebrate Turner’s spirit of radical enquiry.


Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, our building offers unrivalled views out to sea. The windows capture the everchanging light conditions.


Our Work With Children and Young People

Every year we work with thousands of children and young people from Margate and Kent. Our pioneering learning programme champions children’s leadership through the arts.

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