Boost in the number of private museums in Turkey

Boost in the number of private museums in Turkey

The story from Anadolu Agency by Tuğba Özgür about private museums was welcomed by everyone who hopes for the advancement of arts and visual knowledge in Turkey.

The AA story said the number of private museums in Turkey exceeded the number of museums under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for the first time, with the contribution of several incentives introduced. According to official data, there are now 192 museums under the ministry and 193 private museums.

“In 2000, there were 89 private museums. In 2007, this figure went up to 108, increasing every day. In 2008, private museums were 124, in 2009 it was 139, and in 2010 they went up to 146. In 2011, their number was 157, while in 2012 it was 174. This figure increased to 184 in 2013. This year, the number of private museums exceeded [the number of] official museums of the ministry for the first time, [with] 193. In [tandem] with the increase in the number of private museums, the number of visitors also increased. In 2011, it was 5.5 million people visiting private museums. In 2012, about 8 million people visited them,” the story reported.

While archeology and ethnography dominate official museums, the themes of private museums vary from culinary arts to agriculture, to media and industry. There are 46 private museums in Istanbul, 32 in Ankara, and 14 in İzmir. Bursa, Gaziantep, Çanakkale, Kütahya, Eskişehir, Balıkesir and Aydın each have more than 5 private museums. In Turkey, 41 provinces have private museums.

What have private museums contributed to the visual history of Turkey?

There can be city museums related to the history of each city, museums demonstrating the unique economic character of the area, or other themes ranging from industry to commerce.

No doubt, private museums alongside those of the state and institutions provide diversity and richness.  
I will evaluate the concept of museum from the angle of art.

When we talk about private museums in Istanbul, which museums do we remember?  Sadberk Hanım Museum, Rahmi M. Koç Industry Museum, İstanbul Modern, Pera Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Museum.
These museums not only fulfill the function of displaying art, but also brief visitors with accompanying works and activities. Their catalogues make exhibitions long-lasting.

Through private museums we are introduced to great masters of the world of painting and sculpture. I believe this is an extension of getting to know art. I have the opinion that both in Turkey and also in touristic trips abroad, those visiting the country or hometown of a particular artist also visit these museums.

The retrospective exhibitions are influential especially in introducing us to Turkish artists; before anything else, you should know the art and the artists of the country you live in, its art history.
Conferences are hosted by private museums; they make it possible for the artists whose pieces are exhibited to become better known. The showing of art films also meets the need of a film club of moviegoers.  

Thus, each museum undertakes the task of serving as a cultural center.

I care about works focused on children. Visual education helps keep them away from ugliness; it makes
them good exhibition visitors in the future. Moreover, talented children may choose to become painters and sculptors.

Let us also not forget the influence of the Istanbul Biennial, organized by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV).

The state’s encouraging the development of arts is the most realistic investment regarding the future of a country.