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.
Istanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, display and document works of modern and contemporary art, photography, design, architecture, new media and cinema. It acts as an intermediary in the sharing of Turkey’s cultural identity with the international art environment. It supports the artists in their productions and their efforts to form international partnerships. Aspiring to make art easily accessible by the masses, Istanbul Modern provides education programs to art followers of all ages.
Through its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs, the museum aims to instill a love of the arts in visitors from all walks of life and encourage their active participation in the arts. Established in a building occupying an 8,000 square meter site in Karaköy on the shores of the Bosphorus, where it hosted exhibitions and events for 14 years, Istanbul Modern has now moved to a temporary space in Beyoğlu, where it will welcome visitors from May 2018 onward for three years while its new building is being constructed. The museum offers a variety of cultural activities in its permanent and temporary exhibition halls, photography gallery, spaces for educational and social programs, library, cinema, café, and store.
From the Chair of the Board
It all began in 1987 with the dream of providing Istanbul with a museum of modern art. But it wasn’t until December 11, 2004, that we were able to open the doors of a venue that would further enrich the culture of our geography through contemporary art. That date represented the culmination of years of struggle.
Founded by the private sector, with the support of the public sector and local government, Istanbul Modern set out on its journey as Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art in Antrepo #4, a former customs warehouse in Karaköy. Our goal was to offer audiences the opportunity to see, learn about, enjoy and appreciate art and to observe its continual development. We wanted to establish a dynamic institution that would turn museum-going into a habit, increase the number and diversity of visitors, and keep their interest alive. Today, I can proudly say that we have succeeded in achieving this goal.
While providing a venue for exhibiting Turkey’s multicultural heritage and universal values, we have also become a symbol of Istanbul, of the transformation in contemporary art, and of our country’s modern identity.
Our collection and temporary exhibition halls, photography gallery, video area, library, cinema, educational activities, store, and café provide a comprehensive space for living that invites visitors both to witness what is produced and to produce themselves.
Our activities and events in design, architecture, new media, performance, literature and other disciplines are contributing to the development of future audiences. We are also contributing to the promotion of Turkey abroad and cultural tourism through exhibitions we organize in major museums around the world.
In line with our vision of raising new generations to love art, we have created opportunities for hundreds and thousands of children and young people to learn about and produce art.
Extending our reach beyond national boundaries, Istanbul Modern has partnered with prominent art institutions around the world on international exhibitions and museum programs. Our long-running architectural collaboration with MoMA and educational collaboration with the Centre Pompidou are continuously renewed, offering our visitors completely new experiences.
Energized by the unique and brand-new synergy it creates, Istanbul Modern proudly continues its journey with the support of its members, whose number increases by the day.
Today, Istanbul Modern is 15 years old... and we are counting down the days to a brand-new beginning, filled with the optimism that comes from touching the lives of millions of visitors through their encounters with art. While our new museum building designed by Renzo Piano is being constructed at our original site on the Bosphorus, we are welcoming our visitors at our temporary space in Beyoğlu, where we are hosting a full program of events and exhibitions.
I would like to take this opportunity to convey my deep appreciation to all the artists whose productions have added value to the world of art in Turkey and whose support has strengthened us throughout these years. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to all those individuals and institutions who have supported Istanbul Modern and to all those visitors who have made art an integral part of their lives.
Chair of the Board