Over the past decade, Istanbul has become known as one of the world's hubs of contemporary art. Hundreds of galleries have opened to exhibit the works of thousands of talented local artists, who express themselves in a dizzying array of mediums. The beginning of this explosion can be traced back to the establishment of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. Open since 2004, this was Turkey's first private museum to host modern and contemporary art exhibitions.
Open since 2004, this was Turkey's first private museum to host modern and contemporary art exhibitions
A visit to the Istanbul Modern museum is a must for culture lovers, or any visitors on an art tour. The permanent exhibition on the entrance floor, entitled Past and Future, explores the history of modern Turkish art, from the establishment of the Republic, right up to the present day, and onwards to the future of contemporary art Istanbul. Besides this comprehensive permanent exhibition, the museum hosts photography exhibitions, film festivals and other temporary solo and group exhibitions that push boundaries and bring together artists from around the globe.
Located on the banks of the Bosphorus, it has stunning views across the strait to Asia, which can be best enjoyed from the Istanbul Modern Café and Restaurant, which features a decent international menu, as well as drinks.
Many of the Istanbul Modern art works can be found reproduced in poster form in the Istanbul Modern Store. There is also a wide range of design objects, from jewellery to t-shirts to iphone covers that make unique gifts and souvenirs.
Istanbul Modern Café and Restaurant
Cinema buffs can enjoy the range of arthouse films on show at the Istanbul Modern Cinema. Viewing is included in the price of the entrance ticket, or can be purchased separately for 9TL.
The Istanbul Modern Library has an extensive collection of around 9000 books and 29 national and international periodical subscriptions, specializing in Turkish art and related subjects.
The Istanbul Modern Library has an extensive collection of around 9000 books
The Istanbul Modern is part of the Google Cultural Institute, meaning you can browse some of the museums many works before your visit. Click this link to read more about Istanbul Modern Museum of Modern Art Project on Google Cultural Institute.
Take a tram to Tophane, from where it is a two minute walk. Alternatively, if you're coming from Istiklal Caddesi, head down Yeni Çarşı Caddesi from Galatasaray Meydanı and keep going to the bottom of the hill. The museum is across the road.
The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 6pm (until 8pm on Thursdays). Entrance costs 25 Turkish Lira. Private tours can be arranged for an additional 10 Turkish Lira per person.