Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is a meeting point offering transformative cultural experiences.
It attaches utmost care to preserving, researching, developing and interpreting its collections and the holistic art heritage of our country as it aims to create common value with all its stakeholders in its exhibitions and events.
Acting in tandem with Sabancı University in research, education and technology, it offers innovative and creative learning experiences for everyone.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum was awarded the Safe Tourism Certificate from the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency in 2021.
The Arts of Book and the Calligraphy Collection of Sakıp Sabancı Museum offers a comprehensive overview of 500 years of Ottoman calligraphy, with rare Koran manuscripts, kitas, albums, panels, hilyes, edicts and calligraphic tools. In 2012, The Arts of Book and the Calligraphy Collection was re‑launched with a contemporary exhibition concept, enriched with digital applications.
The rooms on the ground floor of the Atlı Köşk house furniture used by Sabancı Family, designed with influences from late rococo, neo‑classic and empire styles with a western provenance and decorative works of art from the 19th century. The archaeological and stone works collection consisting of singular pieces dating back to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods, as well as statues, fountains, columns and contemporary works of art are exhibited in the museum’s garden.
Exhibitions held at SSM
In 2021, SSM continued to bring art enthusiasts together with leading artists and movements of Turkish and international art both through physical museum visits and online.
An exhibition from SSM’s collections, From the Reformation to the Republic: Master Artists, Artist Students offers a glimpse of the historical journey of art in Turkey, featuring 115 works by artists including Hoca Ali Rıza, Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi, Hüseyin Zekai Paşa, Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky, Şevket Dağ, Hikmet Onat, Hüseyin Avni Lifij, İbrahim Çallı, and Nazmi Ziya Güran, as well as the pioneering female artist Mihri (Müşfik) Hanım.
As the exhibition shows the interaction and change between generations through the relationship of masters and students, it also offers the opportunity to trace the social and economic transformation of the country through the art of painting.
Opened in 2021 and continuing in 2022, the exhibition From the Reformation to the Republic: Master Artists, Artist Students can be viewed during days and hours the museum is open to visitors in accordance with measures taken against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Past Present Istanbul: An exhibition organized with the support of Sabancı Holding, describing the past and present of Istanbul through the eyes of 22 young artists who came together with the call of Sabancı University lecturer, architect and photography artist Murat Germen.
Site‑specific works by Ahu Akgün, Aslı Narin, Begüm Yamanlar, Beril Ece Güler, Burak Dikilitaş, Canan Erbil, Cemre Yeşil Gönenli, Deniz Ezgi Sürek, Didem Erbaş, Ege Kanar, Eren Sulamacı, Eser Epözdemir, Korhan Karaoysal, the Center for Spatial Justice, Neslihan Koyuncu Bali, Nora Bryne, Onur Özen, Örsan Karakuş, Serkan Taycan, Sıla Ünlü İntepe, Sinan Tuncay and Zeynep Kaynar were displayed in the exhibition.
An interview titled “Vessel: Exhibiting and Preserving an Installation” was held with the artist Ege Kanar who was a part of the exhibition with his work Vessel.
The exhibition Past Present Istanbul was produced with accessible content for people with visual and hearing impairments with support from Sabancı University and the collaboration of Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum and Accessible Everything, an initiative selected for Sabancı Foundation’s Changemakers Program.
Past Present Istanbul was viewed between 3 September – 28 November on the days and hours the museum was open to visitors as part of measures taken against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Prince’s Extraordinary World: Abdülmecid Efendi opened on 21 December with the support of Sabancı Holding. The exhibition is based on the life and art of Abdülmecid Efendi, a significant painter who left his imprint in the history of Turkish art, and who was also interested in calligraphy, music and literature, known as a patron of many artists and organizations.
The Prince’s Extraordinary World: Abdülmecid Efendi features 60 paintings, including those from the collection of SSM, 14 works from collections of public institutions, 17 works from the family collection, along with works from galleries, museums and private collections, a self‑portrait dated 1926 from the collection of Musee Massena in Nice where the Caliph spent his years in exile and 2 paintings in their original frame from Pierre Loti House Museum in Rochefort gifted by Abdülmecid Efendi to Loti in addition to over 300 documents.
The exhibition can be visited on days and hours the museum is open to visitors until 1 May 2022 in accordance with the measures taken against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Zero. Countdown to the Future: Zero. Countdown to the Future, which was held with the contribution of Akbank Art on 2 September 2015 – 10 January 2016, was launched online on 21 February. The exhibition tackles ZERO, one of the most important avant‑garde movements of the middle of the century, which was born in the atmosphere of the aftermath of World War II and presents art enthusiasts a comprehensive content within a thematic framework.
The exhibition catalogue, which includes texts written by the leading Zero artists Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Günther Uecker, Yves Klein, Piero Manzoni, and conversations with the founders of the ZERO movement Mack, Piene and Uecker, has also been made available as part of the online exhibition.
SSM Learning Programs
Programs for Children
SSM Online Learning Programs designed for children in different age groups continued both in the museum and online during the mid‑term, winter and summer breaks. In addition to workshops organized in parallel to exhibitions, various workshops and guided tours were organized for school groups covering subjects such as art movements, painting, science, nature and abstract art.
Programs for Adults
In 2021, SSM implemented a variety of programs for adults.
Prof. Uşun Tükel from the Department of Art History, Faculty of Letters, Istanbul University, led the online course “Art History as a Discipline”, Prof. Dr. Prof. Cevat Çapan offered an online course on “Contemporary Turkish Theater” and Prof. Burcu Pelvanoğlu from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Western Arts and Contemporary Arts taught the online course “The Construction of Modern Art in Turkey”.
Painting workshops for adults were also held every week in the garden of the SSM in spring and summer.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum digitalSSM Archive and Research Space focuses on issues such as digital archiving, digital preservation, and the transfer of technological artworks to the future.
Launched in 2019 in collaboration with Sabancı University, the project Technological Arts Preservation continued online in 2021.
A series of online conferences were held with the participation of artists, digital art conservators, software engineers and representatives from leading cultural, arts and academic institutions such as the Tate Modern, Rhizome, Whitney Museum, ZKM (Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe) and Sabancı University within the scope of this activity carried out as an international research project.
The conferences focused on the preservation of new media artworks, online exhibitions, the impact of the pandemic on cultural and art institutions and the future of museums. The conferences are made available on the SSM Youtube channel. The first output of the project is an electronic book entitled Technological Arts Preservation, edited by Sabancı University Faculty Members Selçuk Artut, Cemal Yılmaz and Osman Serhat Karaman, Sakıp Sabancı Museum digitalSSM Research Space Manager, published in June on SSM’s website.
There are plans to continue the conferences and research processes in 2022 with different topics and experts.
Stage at the Museum
Stage at the Museum, a theater event launched in 2017 with the contributions of Sabancı Foundation which generated great interest, was held on 17-22 August in the SSM garden under the curatorship of academic Emre Koyuncuoğlu.
The theme in 2021 was We Are Here and Now, My Love addressing the need to cast a look at the difficult process that the world is going through and to heal our wounds together.
The program included the performances, “I, ‘Dear Milena’” by Meltem Cumbul; “Mouthpiece” by Dot; “September” by SFRPZTF; “It Felt Empty When The Heart Went At First But It Is Alright Now” by Talimhane Theater; “Kreutzer Sonata” by the Versus Theater; “Love and Music with Shakespeare” by Linet Şaul, Bülent Oral, Faran Suyolcu and Ayşe Lebriz Berkem; “Tales in the Language of Women” by Özden Karakışla “ and ”The Pacing Riders” by Tatavla Stage. Tilbe Saran held the keynote speech in the program which also included the panels “Inclusion and Solidarity in Performing Arts” moderated by Duygu Dalyanoğlu and “How to Generate Creative Solidarity for a Pluralist Culture” moderated by Cemre Baytok. Stage at the Museum also hosted Nadir Sönmez, actor, writer and director, reading the play “OK”, and the performers of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Theaters reading poetry from Birhan Keskin’s collection “Y’ol”.
Soirée at the Museum
Soirée at The Museum was created by SSM to continue the tradition of the open‑air cinema in 2017 on its terrace overlooking the Bosporus; the Soirée was held on 14-19 September. The program prepared in collaboration with Kadıköy Municipality Cinematheque / Cinema House consisted of films signifying the representation of Istanbul in Turkish cinema and included “Three Friends” by Memduh Ün, “Oh, Beautiful Istanbul” by Atıf Yılmaz, “My Prostitute Love” by Ömer Lütfi Akad, “My Only Sunshine” by Reha Erdem and “Istanbul Tales” by Ümit Ünal, Kudret Sabancı, Selim Demirdelen, Yücel Yolcu and Ömür Atay.
Attracting great interest every year, Yoga at the Museum was held on the terrace of SSM facing views of the Bosporus between July and September in 2021 in line with the anti‑coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic measures.
IKSV 49th Music Festival
SSM continued to host the most anticipated culture and art events of the city in 2021. In this context, the concert BIFO Special: Borusan Quartet and Paul Meyer organized as part of the 49th edition of the Istanbul Music Festival by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) was held on 25 August in the garden of SSM.
Summer in the Garden Festival
Summer in the Garden Festival organized by Hakan Erdoğan Production started on 12 August with the theme “Invitation to Joy” and continued until 10 1September. Jiri Barta, Terezie Fialova, Today’s Quintet, Bilal Karaman, Ergün Şenlendirici, Ahmet Özden, Hacı Rüstem Çembeli, Peter Sarik Trio, and the pianist Can Çakmur were among the performers at the festival.
SSM Gift Shop
Sakıp Sabancı Museum Gift Shop features products and services of international quality that enable art enthusiasts to cherish enduring culture and art experiences.
Open to everyone with its physical and digital venues, SSM Gift Shop collaborates with designers and design material suppliers. Through these collaborations, SSM Gift Shop prioritizes being accessible, innovative and distinctive in the products and services it offers in the context of its collections and temporary exhibitions.
SSM Gift Shop acts with the awareness of social responsibility and sustainability in its museum retailing activities.