Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is a meeting point that offers transformative cultural experiences. The Museum provides inclusive, borderless and transdisciplinary experiences in its physical and digital environments.

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is a meeting point that offers transformative cultural experiences. The Museum provides inclusive, borderless and transdisciplinary experiences in its physical and digital environments. Believing in the reproductive power of interaction between individuals and cultures, the museum create fields of interaction among sources of global, regional, and local arts and culture heritages. Sakıp Sabancı Museum attaches places great importance on preserving, exploring, and improving the Museum collections as well as the art heritage of our country as a whole; the Museum creates collective values along with our collaborators. Acting in unison with the Sabancı University in terms of research, education, and technology SSM offers innovative and creative learning experiences developed for society as a whole.

In 2020, Sakıp Sabancı Museum licensed its archive and research sources in museology standards.

SSM Collections

Sakıp Sabancı Museum Collection of the Arts of the Book and Calligraphy offers a comprehensive overview of 500 years of Ottoman calligraphy, with rare Koran manuscripts, kıtas, albums, panels, hilyes, edicts and calligraphic tools. In 2012, the Collection was re-launched with a new design and a contemporary display allowing visitors to view augmented reality animations and take a detailed look at valuable and rare manuscripts, page by page via iPad.

SSM Painting Collection is a historic continuation of SSM’s The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection. The collection bears witness to the processes of the transformation of Turkish image production and the evolution of the concepts of art and artist while embodying the clues of the modernization process starting from the Ottoman Empire and continuing with the Republic of Turkey.

The rooms on the ground floor of the Atlı Köşk display furniture influenced by baroque, rococo, neo-gothic, neo-classic and empire styles and ornamental works from the 19th century. The Archeological and Stone Works Collection consists of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman pieces and is exhibited in the Museum’s garden.

Exhibitions held at SSM

Welcoming the year 2020 with the exhibition Avni Lifij. The Modern of His Time, SSM continued to hold exhibitions presenting the prominent artists and movements from both Turkish and international art history.

Akış/Flux Exhibition: With the contributions of Akbank, SSM hosted the first exhibition of the world-renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic and the Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) in Turkey.

Akış/Flux Flux was selected as the best exhibition of 2020 by culture and art critics. It consisted of 3 sections: a comprehensive retrospective of the works and performances by Marina Abramovic; live performances developed in partnership with MAI; and the Abramovic Method section, where the visitors had been invited to take part in exercises inspired from the methods of the artist. The live performances of 16 artists, 4 of which had been invited from abroad by MAI, took place during the opening hours of the museum.

The exhibition opened on January 30 and temporarily closed down on March 17 as part of the measures against COVID-19. It reopened on October 30 and ended on December 20.

Şeyh Hamdullah on the 500th Anniversary of His Death: Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) commemorated Şeyh Hamdullah, the founder of Ottoman calligraphy and the great calligrapher of Fatih Sultan Mehmed and Bayezid II’s times, with an exhibition on the 500th anniversary of his death.

The exhibition “Şeyh Hamdullah on the 500th Anniversary of His Death” took place between December 10 and March 31, displaying a collection that included rare manuscript books, copies of the Koran, kıtas and albums from the early 15th century and late 16th century.

Online Exhibitions

SSM was temporarily closed on March 17 and opened on June 16 within the scope of COVID-19 measures. SSM launched the online versions of some of its previous exhibitions as well as holding online events, courses, and conferences.

Picasso in Istanbul The exhibition “Picasso in Istanbul,” which is an important breakthrough in the art exhibitions in Turkey, opened between November 24, 2005, and March 26, 2006, with the support of the Sabancı Family and Sabancı Holding. Picasso in Istanbul was opened to access on April 28, via Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s website, social media accounts and YouTube channel.

Within the scope of the online exhibition; 135 artworks of the artist, exhibition catalog, artwork narrations of Müşfik Kenter, a conference series attended by the world’s leading experts, a children’s workshop and an audio children’s book named I am Picasso were presented.

Salvador Dalí: A Surrealist in Istanbul:

The exhibition “Salvador Dalí: A Surrealist in Istanbul” opened between September 20, 2008 and February 1, 2009 with the support of Akbank and was opened to access on May 20, via SSM’s website, social media accounts and YouTube channel.

Within the scope of the exhibition; artworks, manuscripts, photographs of the artist, Salvador Dalí’s life story, narratives, a conference series in which his versatile artistic production and impact are explained, exhibition catalog, a children’s workshop and an audio children’s book named I am Dalí were presented.

Monet’s Garden: The exhibition titled Monet’s Garden - Masterpieces from Musée Marmottan Monet, which was held between October 9, 2012 and January 6, 2013, the 10th anniversary of SSM, was presented online on June 19.

Within the scope of the exhibition prepared with digitalSSM resources and published on SSM website, YouTube channel and social media accounts; the artist’s flower and nature-themed works, exhibition catalog, audio narratives, and the representation of nature in the artist’s works were presented. In addition to all these, a conference series in which the artist’s effects on Turkish art and the impressionist movement he is involved in are discussed was also included in the exhibition.

Joan Mir Women, Birds, Stars: In the online exhibition “Joan Mir Women, Birds, Stars” hosted with the contribution of Sabancı Holding between September 23, 2014 and February 1, 2015 was presented online on July 17. The exhibition focusing on the artist’s maturity period included artwork narrations, a conference series in which the symbols and art movements of the artist was discussed in addition to his artistic heritage, the exhibition catalog, the online children’s workshop and the audio children’s book I am Miro were presented to art enthusiasts.

Legendary Istanbul: The exhibition, “Legendary Istanbul: From Byzantion to Istanbul-8000 Years of A Capital” was held between June 5 and September 26, 2010, within the framework of Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture. The exhibition was opened to visitors online on the website and social media accounts of SSM on October 5. The exhibition presents a city history that highlights the cosmopolitan characteristic of Istanbul, which has been named Byzantion, Nea Roma, Constantinople, Kostantîniyye throughout history.

In addition to the audio narrative of Istanbul’s history, video conferences, interviews and workshops aimed at introducing the cultural wealth of Istanbul to children were presented online.

Osman Hamdi Bey Beyond Vision:

Processes and findings of the scientific research and conservation studies of 6 paintings by Osman Hamdi Bey in the SSM Painting Collection were transferred to GoogleArts&Culture. The exhibition titled “Osman Hamdi Bey Beyond Vision” can be visited online, with Turkish and English options. In addition to an introduction of scientific methods in order to understand the artist’s works better, the exhibition features detailed information on the techniques and materials used by Osman Hamdi Bey in his artworks.

Sakıp Sabancı Museum will continue to carry out online exhibitions prepared during the digitalization process with digitalSSM resources to art enthusiasts.

SSM Learning Programs

Programs for Children

SSM Online Learning Programs designed for children in different age groups continued in the mid-term and summer holidays. In addition to workshops organized in parallel to online exhibitions, various workshops on different subjects such as different art movements, philosophy, digital game design, cartoon making, painting and coding were held.

Programs for Adults

SSM organized various programs for adults in 2020. Online lessons, “The Art of Painting in the Ottoman Empire” were held with the participation of instructor Prof. Dr. Tarkan Okçuoğlu, who is the Head of the Department of Turkish-Islamic Arts at Istanbul University.

Reaching thousands of children with its learning programs, SSM hosted online chats with parents through its Parent Conversations program. Within the scope of the conversations that can be watched on SSM’s YouTube channel, learning experiences that include creativity, empathy and social thinking concepts have been discussed by taking the lesson design beyond the museum, culture and art contexts.

In collaboration with A! Ne Hoş, SSM held paper flower-making workshops broadcasted live on SSM’s Instagram account.

Technological Arts Preservation Project

Sakıp Sabancı Museum Archive and Research Space focused on projects such as digital archiving, digital preservation and the endurance of the technological works of art in the future.

Launched with the collaboration of Sabancı University and Digilogue, the Technological Arts Preservation project continued in 2020 online.

Within the scope of the international research project, a series of online conferences were held with the participation of representatives of culture, arts and educational establishments such as Tate Modern, Rhizome, Small Data Industries, PAMAL (Preservation & Art-Media Archaeology Lab) Group, Ina, Webrecorder Project and Sabancı University as well as artists, digital art conservators and software engineers.

The future of technological artworks, virtual reality artworks and software-based artworks, and the protection of internet art were discussed during the conferences. Conferences were uploaded to the SSM YouTube Account and is also available on the Spotify Digilogue podcast.

It planned to host more conferences in different subjects and with different speakers in 2021.

Open-Air Events


Attracting great interest every year, Yoga at the Museum was presented via SSM’s Instagram account between April-June due to the pandemic. Yoga lessons were held between July and October in the terrace floor of SSM within the scope of the anti­coronavirus measures.


Grandi Voci International Singing Competition

Held in Salzburg every year, Grandi Voci International Singing Competition was held this year in Sabancı Museum “The Seed” between January 22 and 25 with the support of the Sabancı Foundation. A master class was organized for opera singers, attended by the American opera singer Grace Bumbry, one of the most important mezzo sopranos of the 20th century, as an instructor. The opera singers who worked with Bumbry during the master class gave a concert at The Seed on Tuesday, January 28.

Summer Festival in the Garden

The Summer Festival in the Garden, held every year on SSM’s terrace overlooking the Bosphorus, hosted the renowned maestros and orchestras in Turkey and the world between August 25 and September 10, 2020.

2020 Summer Festival in the Garden Program, developed especially for the 250th birthday of Beethoven brought together the works of Beethoven and Dede Efendi, the genius composer of contemporary Turkish


Jazz Concert at Atlı Köşk

In order to thank service sector employees, teachers, art enthusiasts, culture and arts actors and everyone who produces and shares in addition to health employees, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic, Sakıp Sabancı Museum organized a jazz concert at Atlı Köşk. The concert was broadcast on Turkey’s culture

and arts channel TRT2 on December

28, and on SSM YouTube channel on

December 29.

SSM Gift Shop

Sakıp Sabancı Museum Gift Shop features internationally qualified products and services that can make the culture and art experiences of art enthusiasts permanent.

Open to everyone with its physical and digital venues, SSM Gift Shop cooperates with designers and design material suppliers. With these collaborations, SSM Gift Shop prioritizes being accessible, innovative and distinguished with its collections and its temporary exhibitions.

SSM Gift Shop acts with the awareness of social responsibility and sustainability in its museum retailing activities.

SSM Gift Shop held a New Year’s Market event in cooperation with designers between December 1-31. SSM Store featured the products of different designers every week during December, from the museum store, through its website and SSM Gift Shop Instagram account.


    Dr. Nazan Ölçer (Müze Direktörü)


    Sakıp Sabancı Cad. No:42
    34467 Emirgan - İSTANBUL


    0212-277 22 00

  • FAX

    0212-229 49 14