Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia

The exhibition includes over 20 works by Turner and explores the rise of steam power and industry in Britain.

Oil painting by William Turner, showing a ship at sunset being tugged by two steam boats.


Until Saturday 7 September

Visitor Information

Admission charges apply: 

Full price (with donation) 


Full price (without donation) 








Multi-visit member 


21 and under 


The tickets for this exhibition are offered at a special reduced price, so that as many people as possible can see this national treasure in Newcastle. We are able to provide the reduced price thanks to the generosity of our funders and sponsors. 

Free for Max Card holders, members of NMDC and Museum Association and exhibition lenders  

*Concessions include senior citizens (65+), students, registered unemployed, disabled people (plus free entry for one carer). 

**Membership discount applies to Friends of the Laing, Art Fund members and Laing Exhibition Partners. 

To be eligible for discounts you must show proof of age/status/membership 

Purchase your tickets on the day, no need to pre-book. 


Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (1839), on loan from the National Gallery, will be the centrepiece of the exhibition, which explores the rise of steam power and industry in Britain. This is of particular relevance to the North East, with ship building still very much part of the identity of the region. The Laing Art Gallery is one of twelve partners to be loaned a masterpiece in celebration of the 200th birthday of the National Gallery, with all partners opening their exhibitions on 10 May 2024 – the Gallery’s official bicentenary. 

Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia will include over 20 works by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), one of Britain’s greatest and most prolific painters. The Fighting Temeraire, one of the artist’s best-known works, is a tribute to the ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The painting shows the final journey of the ship as it is towed along the river Thames by a modern paddle-wheel steam tug in 1838, towards its final berth in Rotherhithe to be broken up for scrap.   
It is significant for the North East and its industrial heritage that the two steam tugboats that pulled the Temeraire in reality – the Samson and the London – were manufactured on Tyneside.   
In addition to bringing together over 20 works by Turner, Turner: Art, Industry & Nostalgia includes other important pieces by artists including Tacita Dean, Chris Killip, L.S. Lowry, and James McNeill Whistler. The exhibition will be displayed across two of our galleries on the first floor, with sections exploring Turner’s life and career, the role of the Temeraire itself, Turner’s depiction of steamboats and industrial subjects, and the continuing story of the industrial landscape in art.

We have a few talks planned for the exhibition, which are priced at £3 per ticket (plus booking fee): 

Image: Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775 – 1851, The Fighting Temeraire, 1839, Turner Bequest, 1856 © The National Gallery, London


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