Founded in 2004 by IKSV, Istanbul Modern was the first private museum to organise modern and contemporary art exhibitions in Turkey and it occupies a large site on the shores of the Bosporus, encompassing 8,000 square metres. The museum offers a wide array of services in a multifaceted venue, including permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, library, cinema centre, café and a design store. In addition, the museum also offers video, educational and social programmes. In March 2018 the museum temporarily moved to the historic Union Française building in Beyoğlu while Renzo Piano designs the new Istanbul Modern building to be located at the old location.
The Pera Museum, which opened its doors in 2005, is set up by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation. The building was originally constructed in 1893 by the architect Achille Manoussos in Tepebaşı (in Beyoğlu) and was completely renovated to serve as a fully equipped modern museum. In addition to its function as a private museum in which to display the collection of the family, the Pera Museum is also intended as a modern cultural centre located in a central location and equipped with multipurpose exhibition spaces, an auditorium and lobby, and activity spaces for visitors. The first and second floors of the Pera Museum house three permanent collections belonging to the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation (among which are an archaeological collection of Anatolian Weights and Measures and a collection of Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics). The third, fourth, and fifth floors are multipurpose exhibition spaces for modern and contemporary art exhibitions.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM)
The Sabancı University’s Sakıp Sabancı Museum is located in Emirgan (European side), at one of Istanbul’s oldest settlements on the Bosporus. With the annex of a modern gallery, the exhibition areas of the museum opened to visitors in 2002, with a further extension of the layout in 2005. The technical level of the museum reached international standards. Today the Sakıp Sabancı Museum presents a versatile museum environment with its rich permanent collection, the comprehensive temporary exhibitions that it hosts, its conservation units, model educational programmes and the various concerts, conferences and seminars held. The Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosted various blockbuster exhibitions focusing on the 20th century’s most important artists, such as Salvador Dalí, Rodin, Picasso, Anish Kapoor, Ai Weiwei and Heinz Mack, made possible with the sponsorship of Akbank.
Museum of Innocence
Established in 2012 by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, the museum reflects the unique character of everyday objects of 1970 upper-class Istanbul. It consists of a series of displays, each corresponding to one of the 83 chapters in the novel “Museum of Innocence” by Pamuk.
Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly known as Proje4L)
The Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art is a private collection museum, founded by Sevda and Can Elgiz in 2001. Formerly, under the name of “Proje4L-Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art”, the space provided three years of useful exposure for the works of established and emerging artists, in order to encourage widespread progressive developments throughout the Turkish contemporary art scene. The museum has subsequently changed its name and format in order to accommodate essential works from “The Elgiz Collection”. In January 2009, the museum moved to its new premises in Maslak. The Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art organises lectures and seminars in its conference space by inviting international collectors to share their enthusiasm and their experiences in collecting art. In 2013, the IFEMA Amigos de ARCO Madrid presented the Elgiz Collection with the International Collecting Award and in 2014, the Elgiz Museum was awarded with Turkey’s Contemporary Arts Foundation Honour Award. As of 2015, the Elgiz Museum is a founding member of the Global Private Museum Network and a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Borusan Contemporary is a multi-platform for exhibitions, events, educational activities, new commissions and site specific installations rooted in the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection. These activities are defined by their specific focus on media arts broadly defined, i.e., artists who work with time, light, technology, video, software and beyond. Most of the programme takes place at Perili Köşk Istanbul, and co-exists with the offices of Borusan Holding, in essence creating a unique museum in an office paradigm.
The most recent major cultural project of the Vehbi Koç Foundation is the establishment of a contemporary art museum in Istanbul’s Dolapdere district. Conceptualised as a multidisciplinary cultural and educational hub, the museum will feature exhibitions from, but not limited to, the Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Collection and multi-disciplinary events throughout the year, furthering Arter’s ongoing programme. The building is designed by Grimshaw Architects (UK) and construction documents were prepared by TAM Turgut Alton Architects (Istanbul). Construction began in July 2015 and is scheduled for completion in the autumn of 2019.
The Doğançay Museum officially opened its doors to the public in 2004. It is housed in a historic 150-year-old five-story building located in Beyoğlu, Istanbul, and provides a general overview of a small portion of the oeuvre of Burhan Doğançay, one of Turkey’s leading artists. This mini-retrospective spans five decades of Doğançay’s artistic evolution starting with his early figurative paintings up to his wall-inspired works, as well as photographs.