Called “a roaring, wondrous whirlpool of a show” (The Guardian), Turner’s Modern World presents the astonishing paintings of J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), one of Britain’s greatest artists.


The exhibition explores Turner’s lifelong interest in the inventions, events, politics, society, culture and science of his time, which resulted in many of his most original works and transformed his way of painting. Organized by Tate Britain, the exhibition features oils and watercolors from Tate and other British lenders, as well as paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Yale Center for British Art. 

Born in the late 18th century, Turner witnessed spectacular technological innovations and the industrialization of modern life. As the advances of industry and commerce brought Britain to world power, Turner immortalized these dizzying changes in vivid and dramatic compositions, with skillful brushwork that gave the impression of being wild and uncontrolled. In his last years, he surpassed any other artist by melding his contemporary subjects with a highly innovative style—an accomplishment that established him as one of the founders of modern art. Despite his beginnings as a topographical watercolorist and landscape painter who was deeply enthralled by the history and art of the past, Turner proceeded to create a dynamic, inspired and comprehensive testament to his own era. He was not only a witness to modernity, but an interpreter and champion for his generation.

On Display

Audio Tour

The audio tour for Turner's Modern World is available only on the Kimbell app (iTunes • Google Play). Purchase the access code to unlock the tour. $4, $3 for members. Audio tour by Acoustiguide.

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Turner's Modern World Audio Tour Transcript

Virtual Tour

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Installation Views

Video Series

Kimbell Art Museum

In this series, George T. M. Shackelford, Deputy Director and Curator of European Art, discusses J. M. W. Turner’s work and the themes in “Turner’s Modern World.”


This exhibition is organized by Tate Britain in association with the Kimbell Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Fort Worth Tourism Public Improvement District.


Promotional support is provided by American Airlines, NBC 5, and PaperCity.


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