Turner Contemporary exterior
|Established||16 April 2011|
|Location||Margate, Kent, England|
|Collection size||British and international art from 1750 to the present|
Turner Contemporary is an art gallery in Margate, Kent, England, intended as a contemporary arts space and catalyst for the regeneration of the town. The title commemorates the association of the town with noted landscape painter J. M. W. Turner, who went to school there, and visited throughout his life.
The original designs by Norwegian architects Snøhetta would have made the gallery part of the harbour itself. Some critics, however, questioned the prudence of placing part of Britain's national art treasures in a spot that is exposed to the full fury of the North Sea. The costs of the original design, and controversy over the decision to change its structure from concrete to steel, have led to a legal battle, in an attempt to recover some of the costs. It was later moved to a plot of land adjacent to the harbour, on the site of a boarding house where Turner once stayed.
The building was designed by David Chipperfield, whose design for the 3 storey, 20 metres (66 ft) high gallery has been criticized for being "alien, brutal and bleak". It was built on the raised promenade following a flood risk analysis. Construction started in 2008, and was completed for opening in April 2011, at a cost of £17.5 million. The gallery opened on 16 April 2011. 14,000 people visited in the first weekend and 500,000 in its first year. In August 2013 the gallery received its millionth visitor.
The scheme has been supported by the artist Tracey Emin, who opened it and was brought up in Margate, and various funding bodies including Kent County Council, with a £6.4 million contribution, Thanet District Council, who provided the land, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), who provided £4 million the Arts Council England with support to the value of £4.1 million and the European Union. It is the largest dedicated visual arts venue in Kent. It is a registered charity under English law.
In November 2011, the venue received an award from the British Guild of Travel Writers, for an outstanding tourism project. Queen Elizabeth II visited Turner Contemporary on 11 November 2011, as part of a wider trip to Margate.
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A total of 14,000 people visited on the opening weekend
- Beached and hard to reach
- "Turner Contemporary greets millionth visitor". BBC News. BBC. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
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- TURNER CONTEMPORARY, Registered Charity no. 1129974 at the Charity Commission
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