My bookshop being closed today as it is Thursday I went bookbuying in Faversham, Herne Bay and Margate, three towns with five secondhand bookshops between them, this type of day which culminated in my winding up painting in Turner Contemporary Art Gallery’s café leaves me thinking that something must be done about the Thanet town centres.
As I sketched a bit more of the view in Margate the news came through that Margate Caves has been awarded a further million plus in funding and will open in 2019. I think part of the problem with Margate town centre, is Turner Contemporary itself, the current exhibition lacks any conventional work of art which could be a draw for conventional people with conventional money.
By this I mean that when we had – for instance – our Trace displaying sketches of blue women inserting something blue where the sun don’t shine this was offset by having Rodin’s Kiss. There is nothing of the order of The Kiss in the gallery at the moment and the visitor numbers seem very low – apart from the café and the loos that is.
I see in the offing we have Phyllida Barlow, Michael Armitage, I hope these will be crowd pullers, but have my concerns. I also feel that as the gallery is mostly publicly funded with a fair chunk coming out of the council tax there is some responsibility to pull in the crowds, to make the shops work.
The gallery has had a good run recently with Grayson Perry and JWM Turner Adventures in Colour, but they need to keep it up.
All of these following pictures were taken in Margate in 1903 for the the first book with lots of photographic adverts, useful for dating old Margate photos and I recommend you come into my bookshop here in Ramsgate and give it a browse in conjunction with the Margate street directory for that time. If you can’t get to Rmasgate easily here is the link to buy it online http://michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/margate_and_westgate_with_birchington_1903_04.htm
For the dedicated followers here is the link to the books that went out in my bookshop yesterday http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/mr-benn-in-bookshop.html