Istanbul Modern was founded in 2004 as Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Committed to sharing Turkey’s artistic creativity and cultural identity with the local and international art worlds, the museum hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities.
Embracing a global vision, Istanbul Modern collects works of modern and contemporary art, photography, design, architecture, and new media. Acting as an intermediary in the sharing of Turkey’s cultural identity with the international art environment, the museum supports artists in their production and efforts to form partnerships abroad.
Aspiring to make art accessible to the general public, Istanbul Modern provides educational programs to art enthusiasts of all ages. Through its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, the museum aims to instill a love of the arts in all visitors and encourage their active participation in the arts.
Istanbul Modern will welcome visitors soon to its new building at the site of its original location in Karaköy. The new building is designed by Renzo Piano, the architect of iconic museums and art and culture institutions in cities around the world.
From the Chair of the Board
The conception of Istanbul Modern dates back to 1987 and the organization of the 1st International Istanbul Biennial, in which I am proud to have taken part. In 2003, after searching many years for a location worthy of our city's first museum of modern and contemporary art, we were delighted to be allocated Antrepo No. 4, a maritime warehouse located at the Karaköy port, an area until then closed to the public.
With the transformation of this warehouse into a modern museum building, Istanbul Modern introduced art and culture to both Karaköy, one of the oldest settlements on the Bosphorus, and the historic district of Galata, a commercial center dating back hundreds of years.
Since 2004, when we opened our doors as Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art, Istanbul Modern has played an important role in Istanbul's cultural and artistic life. We have responded to the public's tremendous interest and expectations with a large variety of activities in every art discipline and appealing to different groups. In addition to hosting prominent national and international exhibitions, we have organized educational programs for children, youth and adults, film screenings, social projects and more. Embracing a contemporary approach to museology, Istanbul Modern has transformed the public's perception of a museum by creating a cultural living space offering a cinema, library, restaurant and design shop as well as exhibition halls.
A must-see art and culture institution for Istanbul's international visitors, Istanbul Modern has received 8.5 million viewers to date and undertaken an active role in disseminating Turkey's artistic creativity at home and abroad. Over the same period, 850 thousand children and youth have benefited from our free art education programs.
In the coming days, Istanbul Modern will reopen its doors in a newly constructed, world-class building at its original site. The spatial attributes, infrastructure, technology, and visitor-focused approach of our new building are designed to meet every need of a modern and contemporary art museum like ours, offering us a unique opportunity to raise our standards.
We are eager to resume our activities and invite millions of visitors to exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from Turkey and the world in our new building designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, internationally renowned for their expertise and experience in museum architecture. With the momentum contributed by our new building, we aim to strengthen Istanbul Modern's standing among the world's leading centers of art.
I look forward to hosting visitors in our new building.
Chair of the Board