The Istanbul Modern Art Museum has some of Turkey’s newest and most significant collections of contemporary art. It was opened in 2004 and is located in a converted warehouse. It lies in the Beyoğlu area of the city, close to the Bosphorus. The museum’s collection has a strong emphasis on pieces produced by artists from Turkey. It is also known for the quality and range of its library.
Collections and Displays
The museum makes use of its warehouse setting by utilizing old shipping containers in which to display its artworks. Nevertheless, this modernistic approach makes a startling and deliberate contrast with the centuries-old mosque which is situated nearby. This disorienting approach extends to the entrance of the museum itself: visitors see “False Ceiling,” a work by Richard Wentworth made up of hundreds of books.
Most of the museum’s permanent displays are on the first floor. A large number of Turkish artists are celebrated here, including Adnan Çoker, Ihsan Cemal Karaburçak, Orhan Peker, and Ismet Dogan. Rather old works by Seker Ahmet Ali Pasa can also be seen. This area also contains a moderately sized movie theater and a gallery dedicated to photography, as well as sections devoted to new media and video.
Because of the large number of tourists who visit the museum, most of its signs are printed in English as well as Turkish. These allow English-speaking visitors to understand something of the background to each work and its artist. A limited number of places are available on guided tours, while audio guides are also on offer. Children can enjoy the interactive, hands-on area of the museum, while a strong program of educational events is aimed at those between six and 12 years old.