Awarded Art Fund’s Museum of the Year 2020, Towner Eastbourne has been collecting and exhibiting contemporary art for nearly 100 years.
It presents a dynamic programme of exhibitions, acquisitions and commissions by some of the most exciting and diverse artists working at all stages of their careers for as many as 175,000 visitors each year.
Towner 100 is a year-long celebration of the gallery’s centenary, with the Turner Prize 2023 forming the centrepiece of an ambitious exhibition programme.
Towner’s Collection is best known for its modern British art, including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903–1942), and a growing collection of national and international contemporary art including works by Dineo Seshee Bopape, John Akomfrah, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Tacita Dean, Anya Gallaccio and Wolfgang Tillmans, and most recently Rachel Jones, Helen Cammock, Jananne Al-Ani and Clare Woods.
The gallery is a free and welcoming community space providing places for study and relaxation including a Collection Library and a cinema, screening a regular programme of films including new releases, documentaries, classics, family film and more. The Learning & Engagement Programme offers regular creative and making activities for families with young children, schools and adults, particularly those living with mental health conditions, both inside and outside the gallery. Its participatory programme enables participants and artists to co-create new work together. A professional development programme for artists of all levels offers artist residencies, mentoring and opportunities for collaboration and showcasing.
The award-winning gallery designed by Rick Mather Architects sits in the Eastbourne’s cultural centre, the Devonshire Quarter. The building, which opened in April 2009, is the largest purpose-built gallery in the South East.
Towner has won a number of awards since opening in April 2009, reflecting a lot of hard work and a continual striving for excellence in all that we do.
We hope you will share our pride in our achievements – Towner is, after all, your gallery.
2020: Winner, Art Fund Museum of the Year
2019: Shortlisted for the Freelands Award
2016: Shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museums Award
2015: Awarded Arts Award Good Practice status by Trinity College London and Arts Council England, in recognition of the depth and breadth of creative practice in delivering the Arts Award, a nationally recognised qualification in the Arts on the Qualification and Credit Framework.
2011: Civic Trust Awards – Commendation
2011: Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge
2010: Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award
2010: Longlisted for Art Fund’s Museum of the Year Award
2010: Sussex Heritage Trust Awards – Public & Community Award
2009: British Design Awards – Architectural Achievement Award
2009: Architect of the Year Awards – Public Building Architect of the Year awarded to Rick Mather for his work on Towner Art Gallery
2009: Top 5 in the Culture category of the international Condé Nast Traveller Innovation and Design Awards – and the only attraction outside a major world city to make the 18-strong shortlist (save for the Eden Project)!
2006-2007: The only gallery or museum in the UK to gain its local authority National Beacon Status for Culture for Hard to Reach Groups, as a result of our work with the most disadvantaged groups in society.