Sakıp Sabancı spoke at the Museum on the occasion of the opening to the public scheduled for June 11th said:

‘An individual acquires greatness to the extent that he/she contributes to the developments of the arts, culture and education’

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, is opening its doors with two superb exhibitions: “Selected works from the Sabancı Calligraphy Collection,” including the exhibition titled “Letter in Gold” which traveled to renown museums in Europe and America; and “Selected works from the Sabancı Painting Collection”

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum will open its doors to visitors at the historical “Equestrian Villa” in Emirgân, on the Bosphorus, on June 11th 2002. After having been the residence of the Sabancı Family for over fifty years, Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding has allocated the villa to Sabancı University. Within the framework of this university, the museum will function as an educational institution, open to public.

During his address on the occasion of the opening of the museum, Sabancı Holding Chairman Sakıp Sabancı, said: “During my business career extending over fifty years, my group pioneered in many fields and realized many project that contributed to the development of our country. We established partnerships with leading foreign companies. During all these developments, I realised that the success and contribution of an institution cannot be solely judged by economical criteria. In fact I observe through out the years an individual acquires greatness to the extent that he/she contributes to the developments of the arts, culture and education. With this in mind, I have decided I came to the conclusion that the best way of seeing Turkey advanced in the world arena, with its unique attribute of acting as a bridge between Europe and Asia, would be to share its rich cultural and artistic heritage with a wider audience worldwide. Today, I have finally the opportunity to share our collections with the public.”

Güler Sabancı: ‘The Museum Belongs to the Public’

Chair of the Board of Trustees of Sabancı University, Güler Sabancı, stated: “As Sabancı University, we are aware of the great responsibility that we assume by taking over a Museum. This responsibility goes beyond the proper conservation of the artwork in the museum.” Ms. Sabancı went on to say that in our new world order, marked by astounding developments in communication technologies, museums are compelled to take upon new roles. “Museums take

on an increasingly important role in fostering the diversity of so many distinctive identities and civilizations. In light of these reflections, it is only natural that a university should have a museum.” Güler Sabancı added “It is a great contribution to our city, history and university, that Mr. Sakıp Sabancı has ordered thr allocation of the “Equestrian Villa” to the Sabancı University, so as to be transformed into a museum. The Museum now truly belongs to the public. The great responsibility that our university takes upon itself is to preserve this trust and to keep it alive through out the years.”

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum Director Emin Mahir Balcıoğlu, stated the museum’s mission: “The institution was created with the desire to share with the public the Sakıp Sabancı Collection by way of transforming the residence of the Sabancı family into a state of the art Museum. The Museum, which is institutionally part of Sabancı University and through its projects and educational programs, aims at promoting and fostering our cultural heritage with a universal vision thus taking on a leadership role in interacting with national and international bodies in order to become a place where all cultures are embraced.”

Programs for all, from children to researchers

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, which is equipped with state of the art museum technology, aims at becoming a world museum, and plans to develop programs addressing a wide constituency, from children to professional researchers.

Paper conservation laboratory

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum aims at becoming a centre of excellence in the realm of conservation, restoration and preservation of works of art, through instruction and research. In collaboration with the European Union a paper conservation laboratory will operate in the museum. The museum has established a “Painting and Icon Conservation and Restoration Laboratory” in cooperation with an international NGO based in France, at the Sabancı University Communications Centre in Karaköy.

Atıl Kutoğlu’s designs in Turkey for the first time

The Museum gift shop will also offer a line by renown fashion designer Atıl Kutoğlu, who has prepared a collection for the museum. The current line is inspired by the art work in the museum collection. A similar approach is foreseen for future thematic exhibitions to be held at the museum.

Membership and Volunteer Programs

For the first time in Turkey, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum has also programs for “Museum Volunteers” and “Friends of the Museum.” The “Museum Volunteers” will have the opportunity to take active part in museum activities, depending on the time frame they will be willing to commit. The “Friends of the Museum” may contribute at various levels to the museum fund and gain benefits accordingly.

Two Great Exhibitions:. “Selected Works From The Sabancı Calligraphy Collection” and “Selected Works From The Sabancı Painting Collection”

For its grand opening, Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, stages two significant exhibitions curated from its collections. The first one “Selected Works from the Sabancı Calligraphy Collection,” includes the exhibition entitled “Letters in Gold,” which travelled renown museums in Europe and United States of America.

The “Letters in Gold” exhibition which consisted of 15th through 20th century works and tools used in calligraphy, was exhibited between 1998 and 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Harvard University Arthur M. Sackler Museum and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. In 2001, selections from the calligraphy collection were once again exhibited in Berlin, at the Deutche Guggenheim Museum, and the Frankfurt Museums für Angewandte Kunst, under the title “The Sultan’s Seal”.

“Selected works from the Sabancı Painting Collection” which will be exhibited in the Gallery, displays 19th and 20th century Turkish Painting. Works by Orientalists, such as Guillemet and Zonaro, who were both admitted to the palace, during the period that the Ottoman court was familiarized with painting in the western sense, are of significance in terms of the collection’s historical context. The Sabancı Painting Collection also contains works by Aivazovsky, another painter of the same era, as well as works by Caliph Abdülmecid, such as “Hanzade Sultan’s Portrait” and “Galley in Fog.” Şeker Ahmed Paşa’s “Still Life with Flowers”, Süleyman Seyyit’s “Still Life with Flowers”, Osman Hamdi’s “Kokona Despina” and “Still Life with Vase”, and works by Hoca Ali Rıza, master of light and colour. The museum that is enriched by the largest collection of Nazmi Ziya Güran’s works in Turkey, offers its visitors a treat in the History of Turkish Painting.

From a Historical Villa to a Museum

After having been the residence of the Sabancı Family for over fifty years, Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding allocated the historical “Equestrian Villa” to Sabancı University. The villa was designed in 1925, by an Italian architect, Eduard de Nari, for Prince Mehmed Ali Hasan of Egypt. This historical building accommodated Prince Mehmed Ali Hasan’s sister, Princess Iffet Hasan, for a short period of time, beginning in 1944. Later in 1951, Hacı Ömer Sabancı bought it to become the family’s summer residence.

A Villa Full of Works of Art

Hacı Ömer Sabancı who had come to Istanbul, with his wife Sadıka, for the tonsillitis of his son Sakıp, in 1949, visited the villa in which Princess Iffet resided, and decided to acquire it. His interest in antiquities started with some of the furniture that he bought with the villa, and grew to become a passion. During the 1950s, Hacı Ömer Sabancı bought chandeliers, vases, oil paintings, trinkets and sculptures, from the period’s known antique dealers. When the “Marble Villa” at Moda, previously belonging to Mahmut Muhtar Pasha, and its contents were sold by his heirs, Hacı Ömer Sabancı bought the bronze horse in the garden, sculpted by Louis Daumas, in Paris in 1864, and casted by Vor Thiebaut . When this sculpture arrived from Moda and was placed on the grounds, the building was renamed the “Equestrian Villa.”

International museology standards

Following the death of Hacı Ömer Sabancı in 1966, after a period of vacancy, the villa accommodated Mr. Sakıp Sabancı and his family. In 1975, it was sold to Hacı Ömer Holding. On October 9th 1998, Hacı Ömer Sabancı Holding, allocated the “Equestrian Villa” at Emirgan, to Sabancı University, for a forty-nine year term. As soon as this historical building, which was used as residence by Sakıp Sabancı until 1999, its contents and garden were allocated to the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, an important period of transformation began.

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is equipped with a state of the art technical infrastructure, abiding by with international museology standards. While the villa was transformed into a museum, great care was given to the preservation of the villa and its park. The necessary renovations in the structure of the villa were made while the exterior appearance was preserved entirely. Moreover, in order to prevent the museum from being a stagnant institution and to attract national and international exhibitions for which there is a great lack in Turkey, a second building was constructed to function independently from the collections.

National and international experts in the Advisory Board

The founding principles of the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum emerged during a workshop held in the summer of 1998. Participants to the workshop were over twenty experts, from Turkey and abroad, among which were directors from major museums and foundations such as The Getty and the MOMA . The governance of the museum is relies on the invaluable contributions of its Advisory Board composed of eminent scholars, museum professionals and artists. Among them are Esin Atıl (Art Historian), Nazan Ölçer (Director of the Turkish Islamic Art Museum), Erdağ Aksel (Artists- Member of the Faculty at Sabancı University Art and Social Studies Division), Glenn Lowry (Director of MOMA), James Bradburne (Director of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt), Gülsün Karamustafa (Artist), Ferit Edgü (Author), Oya Eczacıbaşı (Museologist),Talat Halman (Former Minister of Culture), Oleg Grabar (Art Historian-Professor), Betûl Mardin (Public Relations), Makrukh Tarapor (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Associate Directo
r of Exhibitions) and Filiz Çağman (Director of Topkapı Palace Museum).

Istinye Caddesi No:22 Emirgan, 80850, Istanbul

Visiting Hours:
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10.00-18.00
Wednesday: 10.00-20.00
Saturday, Sunday: 11.00-17.00

Full: 4.000.000 TL
Discounted: 1.000.000 TL

(0212) 277 22 00

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