Ffotogallery is the national development agency for photography and lens-based media in Wales. The gallery has an ongoing programme of temporary exhibitions, talks and workshops at the exquisite Grade I listed Turner House Gallery.
James Pyke Thompson, a wealthy Penarth resident conceived the idea of building Turner House Gallery, so named in homage to the painter, in 1888. Quite the philanthropist, Thompson used the gallery to further one of his social concerns; that the public should be able to view the contents of museums and galleries on the one day, Sunday, when they could be seen by the largest number of people. The Turner House thus became known as 'The Sunday Gallery'.
Originally the gallery was housed on the first floor of the building with the downstairs area being used for the custodian's accommodation. The gallery opened in June 1888 with the show consisting of work from Thompson's private collection. This included paintings by J.M.W Turner and Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as some examples of porcelain.
Thompson continued to make acquisitions to his collection until his death in 1897. Without his support and enthusiasm however the gallery gradually lost the public's interest and attendance figures dwindled. In 1921 the Trustee's decided to hand over Turner House and its contents to the National Museum of Wales.
During the advent of World War II Turner House was requisitioned and used by the for its 'Women's Section'. When the gallery was subsequently de-requisitioned in 1944 an Art Sub-Committee met to resolve the gallery's future. It was decided that Turner House would exhibit works from the National Museum's reserve collection and temporary exhibitions.
The building was slightly structurally modified and re-opened in 1950, where it continued exhibiting shows organised by the National Museum until 2003, when Ffotogallery took over responsibility for programming and administering for a number of years.