Museums…Museums…Museums…

My close friends know that I am not a great museum visitor. But thanks to a Getty Instutute Summer Program I am involved with, I had come accross several museums that might be interesting for some of our readers.
Honestly, I did not expect Istanbul Archeology Museum to be that big and to contain such a range of artifacts. The entrance is close to Gulhane Park and the Museum is consisted of three buildings: Archeology Museum, Old Eastern Works Museum and Enameled Kiosk Museum….

The other museum I would like to mention is The Quincentennial Foundation’s The Jewish Museum of Turkey. As far as I know this is the only one of its kind in Turkey and it is located in such a familiar place: Just next to the Tunel station in Karakoy. Of course, I had managed not to recognize it for years…

Finally, there is the Ottoman Bank Museum. It is again in Karaköy, in the Bankalar Street. The basement is devoted to the permanent collection related to the history of the Bank, ‘which operated as the central bank, bank of issue, and treasurer of the Ottoman Empire, and this museum contains hundreds and maybe thousands of full body photos of bank employees from the early 20th century! This was because of the fact that applicants had to send not only today’s visa-size pictures but full body pictures. That means there is too much to see about wearing styles and body langueages of that era… One can also visit this exhibition right now: THE PERSON YOU HAVE CALLED CANNOT BE REACHED AT THE MOMENT: Representations of Lifestyles in Turkey, 1980-2005. This is curated by Prof. Meltem Ahiska and Prof. Zafer Yenal…
Well, enjoy your visits:)

4 Comments so far

  1. erato (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 9:45 am

    Thanks Erkan for the tips! In most cases, less known museums are more interesting but it is a pity one never takes them seriously, especially when he comes as a visitor to a city… (I think i must come to Istanbul again pretty soon…)By the way, if anyone is interested in Jewish museums, i strongly recommend this of Frankfurt! He might get a good idea about jews as a nation…
    Also it is esential for museums today to have a full agenda of temporary exhibitions and other activities in order to keep potential visitors’ interest vivid. One should have fun and be intreged while in a museum – never bored. Sounds almost ideal but, believe me guys, it is doable!!!


  2. erato (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 9:46 am

    Thanks Erkan for the tips! In most cases, less known museums are more interesting but it is a pity one never takes them seriously, especially when he comes as a visitor to a city… (I think i must come to Istanbul again pretty soon…)By the way, if anyone is interested in Jewish museums, i strongly recommend this of Frankfurt! He might get a good idea about jews as a nation…
    Also it is esential for museums today to have a full agenda of temporary exhibitions and other activities in order to keep potential visitors’ interest vivid. One should have fun and be intreged while in a museum – never bored. Sounds almost ideal but, believe me guys, it is doable!!!


  3. Sven Holmström (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 8:48 pm

    Almost all tourists who visits Istanbul go to the archeological museum, but many Turks seem to avoid it. And when they finally go there they are so surpised by it’s size and scope!

    I hear this time and time again. It’s a great museum.


  4. Meral (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    The next time when you’re in Archeological Museum please pay attention to very small potteries: pots, pans, jugs, pitches. They are of the size of cups, plates, kettles that we used to play when we were little. Those little potteries were children’s toys:) That’s very heartwarming…
    Thousands of years had passed… regarding humans and their life so many things had changed, yet human conception and course of action remained the same basically.
    Children used to play with toys and adults made toys for them out of clay. Children play with toys and adults buy (or sometimes still make) toys for them. (I wonder whether the children had toy arrows, spears thousands of years ago, like they have toy guns now?)

    Oh and also the tablets written in cuneiform writing had envelops-made of clay again:) They had the sense of privacy also…

    Great museum, great atmosphere, very nice garden (sitting next to sculptures behind which cats hide, and pop out their heads from time to time:) ), but not all the halls are open due to staff shortage!!! Last year they finally opened all their halls, but a months or so most of them closed again!!!
    I had the opportunity to see the entire museum several times. And its a pity and shame not to be able to see them all.
    And one needs several days to visit Archeological Museum:)

    Erato, yes, come back pretty soon:)



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