From Antrepo No:5 to İstanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum

İstanbul Resim ve Heykel Müzesi

İstanbul Painting and Sculpture Museum which was closed the doors of its former place Apartment of the Heir Apparent in Dolmabahçe Palace in 2009, opened again in October 9th 2022 in its new building with the “Collection Exhibition” curated by Ayşe Köksal and Burcu Pelvanoğlu. In the exhibition which is a compilation of paintings and sculptures from Ottoman and Early Republican era to late 1980’s, 749 artworks of 249 artists are exhibited. The exhibition offers a new way of considering the history of Turkish plastic arts with its construction specified by art historians who are leading experts of their field.

Antrepo No:5 building which was designed by architect Sedad Hakkı Eldem in 1958 and located on Meclis-i Mebusan Street, Tophane was assigned as the new building of the museum. The building was renovated by conserving its original reinforced concrete frame and the façade was reconstructed with a new façade that refers to the ol done by architect Emre Arolat. Containers that was placed to the reinforced concrete frame and could be seen on the façade of the building refers to the industrial “port” history of the building are in use of exhibition places. In the museum which has 6250 square meter exhibition area, the “Collection Exhibition” can be seen in these 37 containers which are also exhibition halls and the exhibition starts from floor one and goes upwards chronologically. The museum also has another exhibition hall for temporary exhibitions. Apart from the library which can be seen on top floor of the 4-storey building, there is also a museum shop one can find art books and museum collection themed gifts, souvenirs. Conference hall of the museum hosts artist, collector talks and varius symposiums and events.

Age-Long History of the Museum

The story of the museum which is affiliated to Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in fact is dated back to late Ottoman Empire period. Halil Edhem, who took over the directorship of Archaeology Museum from his brother painter and archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey, firstly started to work for establishing a “painting and engraving” museum. The artworks he could collect from local artists and copy works of European artists for young painters to learn about them has became the first art collection. In 1917, a guide line about the establishment of the museum approved by the Sultan V. Mehmed Reşat but unfortunately museum could not be opened due to various reasons. The main concern of the Early Republican museology was aimed at archaeology and etnography instead of art; that’s why the dream of establishing a fine arts museum came true barely at the end of this era. Museum was opened after 14 years of the proclamation of the Republic, with the order of Atatürk. The Apartment of the Heir Apparent of Dolmabahçe Palace was assigned to the Painting and Sculpture Museum and then museum was affiliated to State Academy of Fine Arts. The museum which was opened and closed many times due to different reasons in the following years finally bid farewell to the Appartment of the Heir Apparent with an exhibition that referred to 1937 exhibition and curated by Zeynep İnankur and Semra Germaner in 2009.

Opening Exhibitions

In fact, the museum was open to public partially with several events. Museum building was used for an exhibition for the first time as one of the places of 16th Istanbul Biennial in 2019. Later on Exhibition’s Exhibition II that brings 1937 and 2009 exhibitions to the new place curated by Zeynep İnankur, Burcu Pelvanoğlu and Ali Kayaalp opened in December 2021. After a long period of shutdown, with this exhibition curated by professors of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University History of Art Department the museum was reemerged as one of the places that defines the cultural life of Istanbul once again.

Osman Hamdi Exhibition curated by Zeynep İnankur and opened in March 2022 was also planned as one of the permanent exhibitions of the museum. In the exhibition which has the largest Osman Hamdi collection in the country one can also see the certificates, medals and palettes that once belonged to the artist. “The Academy of Fine Arts Calligraphy Collection and Calligraphic Trends” exhibition curated by Ali Kayaalp and Uğur Derman was opened in April 2022 and still can be seen. Calligraphic works and calligraphic paintings which exhibited in two interconnected exhibition rooms connects old scripts with modern paintings and renders the relations between traditional art and Western art. This temporary exhibition also steps forth as the first exhibition of the museum with a published catalogue.


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