Blue Plaques to artists Walter Sickert and Christopher Alexander to be unveiled in Margate

Walter Sickert (Photo George C Beresford) and Christopher Alexander

Margate Civic Society and The Margate School have joined forces to install two Blue Plaques on Kent County Council’s Kent Adult Education Centre in Hawley Square.

The plaques celebrate notable artists, Walter Sickert and Christopher Alexander – who taught in the building at the time when it was Thanet School of Art.

The Plaques will be unveiled by the Mayor of Margate, Cllr Heather Keen, at 2pm on Friday (October 21).

The building which is now the Adult Education Centre was opened as the Thanet School of Arts and Crafts on 8th July 1931, and was built on the site of the 18th century library.  It is in Art Deco style and was given Grade II listing in July 2018, not least for the survival of rooms and internal features dating from the building’s opening.

Since the Thanet School of Art closed in 1974, Kent Adult Education has offered a wide range of adult education courses from the building including life drawing, silversmithing, drawing and painting and calligraphy.

Kent Adult Education also provides a range of classes for the whole community including English, maths, IT and English for speakers of other languages.  Its sister brand Kent Training and Apprenticeships also offers work ready programmes for learners age 16+ from the building.

Walter Sickert Photo George Charles Beresford, via Wikimedia Commons

Walter Richard Sickert RA RBA is recognised as one of the most important artists of the 20th century.  He was born in Munich, Germany, in 1860, and he and his family settled in London in the late 1860s.  He first visited Margate in around 1882, when his mother Nellie, who suffered from poor health, was recuperating.  At the age of 74 in 1934, he settled in St Peter’s.  As a famous artist, he was invited by Mr Moody, the Principal of Thanet School of Art, to give guest lectures which he carried out very successfully.  Walter Sickert died in 1942.

Christopher Alexander

Christopher Alexander ARE ARCA was a notable and very talented local artist.  He was born in Margate in 1926 and after the Second World War won a place at the Royal College of Art.  He taught at the Thanet School of Art in the early 1960s prior to moving to teach at Canterbury College of Art.  He produced a huge number of drawings and paintings, many showing Margate and other places in Thanet.  He died in 1982.

Do you know the people in these fascinating Thanet portraits from the 1950s-70s?

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    • He was a prime suspect, he knew the area where the murders took place well, he knew the women plus he actually painted a portrait of one of them.
      An unfortunate choice for a plaque…

      • The Suffolk Strangler worked on the same cruise ship as Suzy Lamplugh years before she vanished, but he had nothing to do with her abduction & murder either.

    • There was a real cloud over his name and some open illuded to him being the Ripper. His recent show at the Tate contained some really explicit and corpse like posed prostitute models. It was a little creepy.

  1. thats the beauty of freedom of speech , we can voice our own opinion , but for how much longer i wonder , with all these snowflakes playing into the systems hands

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