Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey

The İstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions, was founded in 2004 and occupies an 8,000 square meter site on the shores of the Bosphorus. The museum is located on the Bosphorus in the Tophane neighborhood, in a converted warehouse that was repurposed by Tabanlıoğlu Architects.

İstanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, exhibit and document works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to art lovers.

The permanent collection features work by Turkish painters from the late 19th through 21st centuries including Hoca Ali Riza (Landscape), Migurdic Givani (Istanbul), Nuri Iyem (Peasant Women), Hekmit Onat, Nurullah Berk, Burhan Dogançay (Muhtesem Cag), Nedim Gunsur, and Omer Uluc (1 Man,4 Women). It also includes work by non-Turkish artists, including Tony Cragg, Julian Opie, and Monica Bonvicini (Stairway to Hell). Contemporary video works include films by Hale Tenger Canan (Exemplary), and Sukran Moral (Bordello).

The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art holds exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from Turkey and abroad on both floors of the museum building.

Selections from the Museum Collection are on view in the Permanent Exhibition Hall on the main floor. Collection exhibitions are changed periodically to demonstrate the great variety of artistic media employed by artists from Turkey since the early 20th century. Informative texts in the galleries outline the main features and evolution of modern and contemporary art in Turkey. Additionally, selected works by artists from other geographies are grouped around intersecting themes with works from Turkey to present a cross section of contemporary art around the world.

On the ground floor, two or three temporary exhibitions are on view simultaneously in the Temporary Exhibition Hall, Photography Gallery, and Pop-Up Exhibition Area. The Temporary Exhibition Hall hosts conceptual exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and retrospectives of artists in Turkey. Comprehensive global and regional exhibitions on current issues in visual arts are also held in this hall. The Photography Gallery presents group exhibitions exploring the evolution of photography in Turkey and abroad and the impact of art movements on photography, as well as exhibitions of prominent photographers from Turkey and other geographies. The Pop-Up Exhibition Area has a dynamic program of exhibitions and programs on visual culture, including architecture, design, moving image and new media.

As part of its commitment to sharing Turkey’s artistic creativity with wide audiences and promoting its cultural identity in the international art world, İstanbul Modern hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities.

Apart from permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, and spaces for educational and social programs, the museum offers a cinema, restaurant, design store and an extensive library. İstanbul Modern conains exhibition space on two floors. Work from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as a shop and restaurant, are located on the top floor, while temporary exhibitions are located on the lower floor, along with a cinema and arts library.

Istanbul Modern opened promised to offer our audiences an opportunity to witness, learn about, enjoy, appreciate and to continually become updated with the evolution of contemporary art. In order to establish museum visits as sustained leisure activities, to increase Museum attendance on a cumulative basis, and to constantly capture the public’s attention, we aspired to create a dynamic and evolving structure. We believe that we have achieved this goal.

The Museum provides a multifaceted, attractive and accessible communications platform that engages first-time visitors, as well as contemporary art enthusiasts, primary school children and scholars.

Istanbul Modern created a vibrant, family-friendly space that addresses a wide range of tastes, cultures and interests.

The Museum has become especially attractive to young audiences who are drawn to the interactive activities that we provide. With its permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, the photography gallery, new media area, library, cinema, educational programs, gift store, and restaurant, Istanbul Modern encourages a creative and interactive museum experience for its visitors.

The Museum has become a multipurpose cultural center for the encounters of everyday living and culture as well as serves as a catalyst for the collective energy that is generated by the interactive activities and experiences presented by the Museum.

Through an active roster of exhibitions and programs, Istanbul Modern opened new perspectives, spurred curiosity and encouraged reflection in the Turkish public. As a result of these efforts, Istanbul Modern familiarizing the Turkish public with the entire scope of the Museum and encouraged frequent Museum visits.

But Istanbul Modern does not only limit itself to the display of artworks; it aims to fulfill an educational role as well. Both inside and outside of the Museum, we have instigated programs to acquaint the younger generation with the visual arts. Since the museum opened, hundreds of thousands of children and young people have benefited from our educational offerings.

Complementing all these activities, the private sector, the public and the local government have worked together to support the Museum and, as a result have engendered a novel and unique synergy. The collaboration between these three areas has further energized the Museum.

Istanbul Modern has always had a special relationship with museum visitors. Throughout our journey, Istanbul Modern offer diverse and rich content for individuals who want to make art a part of their lives and to strengthen our ties with our visitors.

The museum is open Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00–18:00, and Thursdays, 10:00–20:00. Admission is free for children under 12, members, and disabled visitors, and on Thursdays, admission is free to residents of Turkey.