Art, talks and Prosecco will mark 130 years of Lovelys Gallery

Lovelys gallery and art shop was established in 1891 by Mr Edward Lovely

Lovelys Gallery in Northdown Road, Cliftonville, will celebrate its 130th anniversary with events including a party and an interactive window display.

Lovelys gallery and art shop was established in 1891 by Edward Lovely. It is still owned and run by the Lovely family and offers fine art originals and limited editions exhibited over two floors, a specialist bespoke framing and restoration service as well as an extensive art materials department.

Edward Lovely opened the first shop in Margate High Street. He was one of the first traders to import lengths of  picture moulding from Germany, a revolutionary step at the time.

In 1912 a further shop was purchased next door to expand into selling art materials. In 1925 another shop was opened in Ramsgate.

Lovelys stayed open during two world wars despite the Margate shop being bombed.  Edward’s son Henry, also in the business, was a Master of the Fine Art Trade Guild and is believed to have  designed the trade logo, still used today. He met many famous artists including L.S.Lowry and  Walter Sickert also frequented Lovelys. In the 1950s Henry Lovely was fortunate to be asked to restore a painting  attributed to Rubens.

The present Northdown Road shop was bought in 1951. Henry’s son, John, joined the business after training at the National Gallery. In 1970 the Margate and Ramsgate shops were sold and the Northdown Road site was considerably enlarged. The shop is now run by the fourth generation of the Lovely family, Caroline.

Lovelys, which was named art retailer of the year in 2011, has recreated the shop window of 1891to mark the anniversary

On  July 17-18, Lovelys will be celebrating with special events, offers and cake and prosecco  alongside the Northdown Road and Friends summer open party.

Forming part of the anniversary, Lovelys will be curating The Lovelys Living Gallery – an interactive window display where artists, customers and passers-by are invited to create their own beautiful artwork on the walls inspired by iconic local landmarks. This takes place from Wednesday, July 14 to Sunday, July 18.

Visitors to the shop can also see the striking mural created by artist Rory Strudwick, which was commissioned by Lovelys to mark the anniversary year.

Lovelys Summer exhibition: ‘The Lovelys Art B&B’ is also on show from now until Saturday, August 28 and embraces the Great British staycation, celebrating art from our local coastline and seaside towns along with  summertime adventures and local hidden treasures!

Alongside this will be an exhibition: ‘A Leisurely Life in the Lido’. Nick Evans, author of the ‘The New Town on the Cliffs, The Story of Cliftonville’, will be exhibiting his collection of Lido photographs and memorabilia, documenting 60 years of the Lido’s history from the 1920s to the 1980s. Nick will be signing books on Saturday, July 17 from 2pm- 4pm and the exhibition will remain on display until July 28.

On Sunday, July 18 Lovelys is hosting a talk by Graham Ward in conversation with author, broadcaster, and artist Nick Kelly. Graham and Nick will discuss their respective techniques, influences and inspirations.

They will also talk about a shared experience of walking the various pilgrim roads to Santiago de Compostela in the Northwest corner of Spain, from the oldest and most established French route – a journey of almost 800 miles from the foothills of the French Pyrenees to Galicia. Graham discusses his long-standing passion for the subject and explains why the Santiago experience remains an important and underlying influence in his work. Booking is required due to limited space, £2 per person.

The celebrations will also be marked later in the year by an open exhibition featuring 130 individual pieces of art by local, national and amateur artists. The exhibition will give individuals from a multitude of disciplines and mediums the chance to show their work at Lovelys, perhaps for the first time! The show will  include much loved Lovelys’ artists past and present and will run from Saturday, September 11 to Saturday, October 9.

Submission forms are available to download from the link below:

All money raised from the exhibition hanging fee will be donated to the Pilgrims Hospice charity.

Lovelys will be open 9am – 5pm on Saturday, July 17 and 11am – 3pm on Sunday, July 18.

Find Lovelys online here


  1. When visiting Thanet on my visit from Australia I checked your Lovelys art shop out and bought several items including brushes at good prices a brilliant shop for Artistes be you just starting or established.

  2. A brilliant place.An excellent shop to buy materials etc and to exhibit. Caroline and her staff are always friendly. No surprise its has survived so many years!

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