Turner Contemporary, Margate

3.2
Part of a plan to regenerate its neighborhood, Turner Contemporary was also the subject of controversy before the gallery opened its doors. Some thought that the original design would expose the valuable artwork inside to the ravages of the stormy North Sea, while the locals thought the revised design looked bleak. Eventually the gallery opened in 2011, and even with the controversy, it was well received for its extraordinary collection of British art displayed near the North Sea. Look especially for the artwork of J.M.W. Turner, the gallery's namesake. Using our online itinerary creator, Margate attractions like Turner Contemporary can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Turner Contemporary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
1,557 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • This was my second visit. I just love this place and not just because it is free. The clue is in the title. This is a gallery of contemporary art. If you like traditional art and dislike contemporary ...  more »
  • An airy space showing some interesting exhibits. Not always to my taste, but still enjoyable. Young children were joining in activities under friendly, stimulating supervision. Staff helpful to even u...  more »
  • Wonderful space to exhibit modern art. Also an excellent centre for children to experiment. A lovely building; The exhibits are open to personal decisions as to their beauty.  more »
Google
  • It feels as if Turner's name has merely been used to attract attention. I suspect Turner would be laughing if he could see this place. Sure some people like "contemporary art" but at least make some decent tribute to the legendary artist who spent so much time living and painting in this location! The building looks large from the outside but there is really not much inside. Also as we entered the upstairs exhibition area we were greeted by noisy children's activities. I honestly thought we had gone to the wrong place. We saw others looking confused too. Sure provide entertainment for children but perhaps not make it the first thing that greets you when you believe you are walking into an exhibition. As for the paintings and installations I certainly was not impressed although a couple made me laugh at least! We were just glad Margate has a nice beach, some interesting little shops/arcades and other small art studios to keep us entertained.
  • Is a wonderful building and free to get in. Several galleries inside for different artists and the biggest lift I've ever seen takes 100 people at a time
  • I enjoyed my visit here, but I was expecting the gallery to be very much larger than it is. Not a bit larger, a lot: it's just so small. A well chosen range of exhibits, nonetheless. Cafe food is nice, but very expensive. Gift shop is good.
  • Staff knowleagable friendly and very helpful. Set makes you think and talk, love it or hate it, you are made to think. Very positive experience.
  • Visited on 29th September. The building itself is an absolute carbuncle, so at least it is easy to find. Don't be fooled by the name; there were no Turners on view when we visited. In fact there was hardly anything to see at all other than a small student offering and some pieces of poorly crafted perspex stuck against a shaded wall. We did see Antony Gormley's Another Time figure in the waves, which was excellent, but you had to peer sideways from the window of the only gallery that was open to see it. Turner was a painter of light. You would think that the person in charge of purchasing for the gift shop might have used that as inspiration. Instead, I suspect they did their buying from the Smyths Toy Store catalogue whilst high on acid watching Rod Hull on the telly. If multicoloured emus for £40 is your thing, then this is the gift shop for you. That you can buy a mug and a shopping bag with a Turner print on tells you everything you need to know about the imagination of the offering. Really disappointing visit. At least it was free. Don't make a special visit to Margate for this.

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