Museums Talk: From The UK


Launched in 2012 by Istanbul Modern, the “Museums Talk” program aims to establish a new conversation platform between leading international museum professionals and audiences in Turkey. The program continued with the United Kingdom.

Organized in collaboration between Istanbul Modern and the British Council, “Museums Talk: From the UK” invited prominent museum professionals from eight art museums from the UK to meet Istanbul audiences between December 2014 and April 2015. Since the foundation of the first national public museum in the world, the UK has always been a precursor in the field of museology and British institutions provide a unique know-how combining a rich heritage with innovative approaches.

Each lecture focused on a critical topic, such as museum management, fundraising, curatorial practices, collections and archives, education programs, audience development and public relations, marketing and communication strategies, new technologies, exhibition design and museum architecture.




Cultural Diversity and Its Representation within Visual Arts

Tessa Jackson OBE, Chief Executive

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 19.00

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) was established in 1994 with government funding to address the imbalance in the representation of culturally diverse artists, curators and writers within cultural discourse in the UK at the time. Iniva now operates in a more globalised world where the meaning of diversity itself is endlessly shifting and changing.

Iniva continues to encourage new and unheard voices, creating space where the politics of race and representation can be explored. Tessa Jackson OBE, Chief Executive, discussed the challenges and importance of museums and galleries exploring internationalism and alternative perspectives through exhibitions and collections.

Click to watch the event     


Lure of the Local: Residencies, Art Schools, Museums

Sam Thorne, Artistic Director

Tate St Ives

Tuesday April 7, 2015, 19.00

Founded in 1993, Tate St Ives offers a varied exhibition and events program of international modern and contemporary art within the unique cultural context of St Ives, home of post-war British Modernism. The museum also manages the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which offers a remarkable insight into the work of one of Britain's most important 20th century artists.

What can museums and larger arts institutions learn from the recent flourishing of artist-led education projects? What would a museum with artist residencies at its core look like? Sam Thorne’s talk gave an overview of alternative art school projects, from Manifesta 6 to Ahmet Ögüt's Silent University, and considered their implications for museums. It drew on his experience as a co-founder of Open School East, an art school-cum-community space in London, and of developing a residency program at Tate St Ives.

Click to watch the event     



Curating Digital Space: Inventing a New Art Form

Ruth Mackenzie CBE, Interim Launch Director

The Space

Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 19.00

The Space, set up by the BBC and Arts Council of England in 2014, commissions artists from all art forms to create digital art for people round the world to enjoy via their mobiles, tablets and desktop computers. It encourages artists to experiment with new ways of reaching audiences and new forms of digital art, and it encourages audiences to move from consuming and enjoying art, to participating in art works as an active artistic community.  

Ruth Mackenzie is the Interim Launch Director and Creative Director of The Space and the Artistic Director of the Holland Festival. Her first festival in June 2015 includes a celebration of artists from Turkey and surrounding countries. In her talk, Mackenzie shared insights into curating digital artists and audience development in every continent of the world. She argued whether digital art will have a similar effect as the emergence of film in the twentieth century as a new dominant art form, which impacted on artists across all genres and reached new mass audiences. Mackenzie discussed how artists should develop a new relationship with these new audiences and if it required the invention of a new form of digital art. 

Click to watch the event     


Museum Education: Deepening Engagement Through Digital Learning

Jane Findlay, Head of Schools and Young Audiences Education

The British Museum

Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 19.00 

Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history and culture and includes world-famous treasures such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies. With over 6 million visitors in 2013, the Museum is the top visitor attraction in the UK.

Last year, 262,000 pupils visited the British Museum. Jane Findlay, Head of Schools and Young Audiences, discussed the potential and pitfalls of using technology to support museum learning. Discussing the need to align learning and digital strategies for maximum impact, her presentation covered topical subjects such as developing sustainable technology partnerships, conceiving blended learning approaches through the innovative Samsung Digital Discovery Centre, deepening families’ engagement in the galleries with augmented reality applications and building successful online teaching resources.


The event was repeated in Bursa on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, with the collaboration of British Council and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. Click for more information. 

Click to watch the event    


The Future of Museums

Chris Dercon, Director

Tate Modern

Friday February 13, 2015, 19.00

Tate Modern is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group. It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world and the second most popular tourist attraction in the UK with 5.5 million visitors in 2013.

Chris Dercon is an art historian, a documentary filmmaker and cultural producer. Since he was appointed Director of Tate Modern in London in 2011, he has been leading the museum’s groundbreaking programs and its unmatchable expansion project. In his talk, he questioned the future of museums of art, which have always been places in a constant state of disruption and transformation. Presenting a unique platform for human encounters, he considered the museums’ potential to become a new type of public space, one for social play and innovation, facilitating new forms of art, creativity and thinking, where people will look and interact with art as well with each other.

Click to watch the event    

Rethinking Museums, Rethinking Culture: New Approaches to Museum Management

David Anderson, Director

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Tuesday February 3, 2015, 19.00

Founded in 1907, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales operates seven national museums working in different disciplines encompassing art, history, natural history, and industrial heritage. Dedicated to preserving, presenting and promoting the culture of Wales, the institution is facing severe challenges of funding and purpose.  It is on a journey to redefine its role in Wales, the world’s first post-industrial nation – one rich in cultural traditions, but poor in economic resources.

Awarded an OBE for services to museums and education, David Anderson has been Director General of National Museum Wales since 2010 and reorganized the institution to enable it to become better fitted to meet the needs of the people of Wales in the twenty first century. In his talk, he presented the redevelopment of the St Fagans Museum near Cardiff to become the National Museum of History for Wales. Themes included the development of a new vision and purpose for the museum, fundraising, and the role of public participation in reshaping the work of the organization.

The event was repeated in Bursa on Wednesday, 4 February 2015, with the collaboration of British Council and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. Click for more information. 

Click to watch the event    


Developing Museum Collections: Limited Resources, Unlimited Partnerships

Simon Groom, Director

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Tuesday January 20, 2015, 19.00

Founded in 1960, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is the youngest of three galleries that, with the Scottish National Gallery and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, make up the National Galleries of Scotland. Housed in two 19th century buildings in beautiful parkland in Edinburgh, the Gallery of Modern Art has the finest collection of Scottish and international art from 1890 to the present day in Scotland, an impressive sculpture park and one of the world’s great collections of Dada and Surrealism.

Simon Groom, the Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, discussed the challenges and opportunities ahead of art museums to develop their collection in times of crisis. He presented successful partnership the museum has forged to enable a rich programme of displays and exhibitions that makes innovative use of its collections. These include ARTIST ROOMS, held jointly with the Tate on behalf of the nation, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art by some of the most significant artists of the twentieth century; “From Death to Death and Other Small Tales”, an exhibition that combined works from the gallery’s collection and that of the collector, Dimitris Daskalopoulos; as well as GENERATION, a hugely ambitious nationwide programme of exhibitions in 2014 looking at 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland.

The event was repeated in Bursa on Wednesday, 21 January 2015, with the collaboration of British Council and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. Click for more information. 

Click to watch the event    


The Role of Museums in Urban Regeneration

Turner Contemporary - Art Inspiring Change

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director

Tuesday December 9, 2014, 19.00

Founded in 2011, Turner Contemporary has acted as a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate, a seaside town in East Kent that had declined as a tourist destination. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, the gallery is located on the site where JMW Turner stayed on his frequent visits to Margate in the 1820s and 1830s. Turner Contemporary celebrates Turner’s relationship with the town and hosts a world-class programme of historical and contemporary exhibitions as well as a vibrant Learning and Public programme.

Victoria Pomery was appointed Director of Turner Contemporary in 2002 to develop an arts organisation as part of a strategy of cultural led regeneration and was awarded an OBE for services to the arts in 2012. In this presentation, Pomery considered the role of Turner Contemporary as a catalyst for the regeneration of Margate and described the initial concept and some of the challenges that she and the team faced in the early years.  She talked about the design of the gallery and what she did to ensure that the opening was a success, creating confidence and civic pride within its local communities. Victoria Pomery reflected on the social and economic impact that the gallery has had and argued that art could inspire change.

The event was repeated in Bursa on Wednesday, 10 December 2014, with the collaboration of British Council and Bursa Metropolitan Municipality. Click for more information. 

Click to watch the event    

In Collaboration With