Sakıp Sabancı Museum – an enchanting experience with its versatility

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Sakıp Sabancı Museum – an enchanting experience with its versatility

Calling the Sakıp Sabancı Museum just a museum gives a far too narrow picture of this unique place. First of all, in its artistry, versatility and beauty, this museum is a place that will leave a lasting impression on your heart. Secondly, the museum's deep and open-minded vision is great - and the execution really exudes the winds of future development. Thirdly, here you will once again be enchanted by the nature of Istanbul.

Museum

Private Sakıp Sabancı Museum (Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi) offers a versatile museum experience with its extensive collection, comprehensive national and international temporary exhibitions, conservation and research units, exemplary learning programs, various concerts, conferences and seminars. But even beyond all this, you will find even more…

Location and history

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is located in Emirgan neighborhood, on the western shore of the Bosphorus in the Sarıyer district, north of the Second Bosphorus Bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü).

Sabancı family

The mansion, which is the main building of the museum, was built in 1925 by the Egyptian Khedive Prince Mehmed Ali Hasan and designed by the Italian architect Edoardo De Nari. Adana industrialist Hacı Ömer Sabancı, a member of a powerful Turkish family, bought the mansion from the Hidivi family in 1951. The mansion was privately owned by the Sabancı family until it was donated to Sabancı University (Sabancı Üniversitesi) and finally opened to the public as a museum in 2022.

Vision

The museum depicts itself as a meeting place for cultural experiences that change us.

It believes in the multiplying power of interaction between individuals and cultures; creating an interaction between global, regional and local culture and artistic heritage.

For the museum it is important to preserve, research, develop and interpret the collections and the integrated art heritage of Türkiye.

It works by fostering common values with all stakeholders at exhibitions and events.

The museum offers both physically and digitally an open and multi-vocal space for everyone without the narrowness of the boundaries of disciplines.

Working together with Sabancı University in the fields of research, education and technology, the museum also produces innovative and creative learning experiences.

Garden

When you visit the museum, you will first encounter the dazzlingly beautiful hillside garden, which also has a special meaning and mission. The Sakıp Sabancı Museum, in cooperation with Istanbul University’s Faculty of Forestry, records tree and plant species in its garden, and presents them to garden enthusiasts.

Among others, the 150-year-old monumental trees are noteworthy in the garden, which has 115 plant varieties from the Far East, America, Australia, North Africa and the Caucasus – including rare plants from Türkiye.

Museum visitors can examine the different plants in the garden and get more information about them from the signs placed next to the plants.

In addition, the lush garden features stone works such as sculptures, fountains and columns, as well as contemporary artworks.

Exhibitions

The Sakıp Sabancı Museum presents collections and archives of book art and calligraphy, painting, decorative objects, and archaeological finds, which together form the museum’s rich cultural and artistic ensemble.

The museum invites you to explore art through inspiring artists and collections, contemporary art exhibitions offering cross-border experiences, pioneering scientific research, international archives and academic resources.

The Sakıp Sabancı Museum hosts the “Living Pyramid” artwork by ecological art pioneer Agnes Denes. Denes’s manifesto, written in 1969, which describes our relationship with nature as a metaphor for our existence in the world, is also on display in the SSM garden engraved on a marble slab.

Event center “The Seed”

”The Seed” operated by GL Events, a partner of the Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, functions as a multipurpose event center in the museum. GL Events has worldwide experience in international cultural and art events, congresses and meetings.

In addition to its collections and extensive changing exhibitions, ”The Seed” offers a versatile art and educational environment with a new entity designed in accordance with international standards. The total area is 1,700 square meters including e.g. conference and concert hall for 330 people and modern sound and light technology.

More information and photos of the event center: The Seed

MSA, The Culinary Arts Academy of Istanbul and restaurant

Naturally, the Sakıp Sabancı Museum restaurant is also special. Since 2004, the Istanbul Culinary Arts Academy (Mutfak Sanatları Akademisi, MSA), has been responsible for the museum’s restaurant operations.

That is, MSA students who are currently studying professional programs in customer service, kitchen and hall side will complete their internship in this museum restaurant. In other words, in this kitchen, the teacher chefs collaborate with their students – so your food is prepared here by the most brilliant chefs of the future.

The restaurant’s menu is in accordance with the school’s curriculum. The menu features local classics of Turkish cuisine, including dishes inspired by Istanbul street food, as well as popular dishes from around the world.

The view

The view is breathtaking both from the inside and from the multi-level outdoor terraces. In front of you opens a stunning view of the garden, the Bosphorus Strait and from Europe to Asia. Words are not enough to describe the atmosphere and beauty.

Museum shop

Perhaps you want to buy a souvenir to take home. As usual, the products in the museum shop are inspired by the museum’s collections and exhibitions. But here you can also do good by shopping: you support exhibition and educational programs with every product you buy.

This, in addition to many other details, speaks of the museum’s strong vision. All in all, during my visit, I felt that I was not only in a museum, but a part of some kind of empowering development based on history, humanity, nature and beauty, which we need more of on this precious planet.

More information plus exhibition and event calendars: Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi

Ps. If you visit the museum in the spring when the tulips are blooming, you can also combine your museum day with the nearby famous Emirgan Park (Emirgan Korusu), whose flower splendor is dazzling.

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