Legendary photographer Ara Güler’s museum opens in Istanbul
This time, he is the main subject of all those trying to take his picture.
He has remained loyal to Istanbul with thousands of black and white pictures he has taken of the city starting from the 1950s, but he has not refrained from going on other adventures in Turkey and in Europe as photo reporter.
In the 1970s, portraits of celebrities like Pablo Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Alfred Hitchcock, Fellini, Arthur Miller, Churchill, Maria Callas, Aragon and Indira Gandhi were seen in internationally prominent magazines through his lenses.
If in 1958, he was not lost on his way back from the opening of a dam in the Aegean province of Aydın, excavations in this ancient Roman city would have never started.
Villagers living among ancient ruins
The Geyre village is set up on the remains of Aphrodisias, which has an interesting story.
When Ara Güler came across villagers living side by side with Roman columns, using some of the remains as tables and chairs, he immediately started photographing these mind-boggling scenes. Unfortunately, the pictures he took did not receive any interest in Istanbul.
He then sent these pictures to archeologist professor Kenan Erim, who was at Princeton University at the time.
The pictures were published in Times magazine along with Erim’s article.
Erim began excavations in 1961. They continued until his death. His grave is in this ancient city, as his name has come to be identified with it.
More than two million photos
“My most important worry is the maintenance of this archive after my death,” he said.
Doğuş Group’s Art Advisor Çağla Saraç and her young team have been working for the past two years to classify the archive and to create an inventory.
As underlined by Hüsnü Akhan, the CEO of Doğuş Group, hundreds of thousands of pictures are handled one by one and are being registered in a unique archive system developed by the Doğuş Group.
The archive will soon be open online.