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The First Private Museum of Turkey


Istanbul is a city living intertwined with history. You can encounter with many historic buildings on its streets and avenues. One cannot have enough of watching beautiful villas of Bosphorus. The first private museum of Turkey, Sadberk Hanım Museum was established in such beautiful villa in 1980. Azaryan villa which is distinguished from others by its light yellow color and crossed wooden moldings catches the eye immediately.

Built in 19th century, the villa was Koç Family‘s summer house for 30 years before being turned into a museum in 1980. Today, it gives a public service with thousands of works of art exhibited inside. The first private museum of Turkey carries the name of the deceased wife of Vehbi Koç who was one of the most appreciated industrialists of the country. Sadberk Koç gathered a distinguished collection due to her passion for handicrafts.

Her daughter Sevgi Gönül declares that to exhibit the works of art that she gathered in a museum named after her was her biggest wish. Museum was established 7 years after the death of Sadberk Hanım with a private collection constitute from women clothes, silk fabrics, embroideries and silverware. With the interest of people and the donations of other private collections, the extent of the museum was widened.

In 1988 a second building was added to the museum. Another half demolished villa right near it was restored and added to the museum. The works of art of Hüseyin Kocabaş collection began to be exhibited in there. The 7,000 pieced Kocabaş collection, 4,000 of which are archeological, is exhibited in this second building that carries the name of Sevgi Gönül. The museum includes 18,000 pieces which reflect the culture of the Anatolian lands between 5400 B.C. and 1923 A.D.

Inside the Sadberk Hanım Museum

In the museum it’s possible to see how people were living in Anatolian lands and what kinds of goods, tools and implements they were using in their daily lives. The works of art belonging to the era that mankind passed from a gatherer and nomadic community to an industrialized settled society are fascinating. Not only the works of art but also their exhibition style deserves to be seen. The esthetic in their presentation gives a distinctive appearance to the museum.

The works of art belonging to Anatolian, Ion, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine civilizations of the modernly decorated museum takes a completely different aspect with the special lighting and wall hollows called niche in which they are exhibited. The pieces in the art history section located in the Azaryan villa building of the Sadberk Hanım Museum also have an interesting exhibition style.

In the traditions and customs section that describes the Ottoman period the life style of the era is exhibited with manikins carrying original costumes and accessories. It’s possible to observe the Henna night, circumcision ceremony, childbed tradition and coffee service customs of the era. One of the most popular sections of the museum is without a doubt the Women clothes section.

The Ottoman and Republic periods gold which are exhibited in the Coins section also attract the attention of the visitors. Museums are indispensable establishments that carry the past to the future and take out the history from books in order to exhibit it in three dimension. And the Sadberk Hanım Museum that started the private museum tradition in Turkey exhibits interestingly the traditions of the past by blending them with the present.

A new page of the history is opened in every floor, in every room of the museum due to the exquisite selection and exhibition of all the works of art. Just like Istanbul, the city of surprises, it offers you a lot. Sadberk Hanım museum which causes you to perceive a woman touch in all its details is one of the places that you mustn’t miss when you visit Istanbul.

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See also:
The Waterside Residences of the Bosphorus
The Story of the Zarif Mustafa Pasha Residence


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