The Sakip Sabanci Museum
Address: Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi No. 42, Emirgan Sarıyer
Phone: (0212) 277 2200
Web Site: www.sakipsabancimuzesi.org
Working Hours: Tuesday: 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday: 10:00 - 20:00
Thursday - Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00
Closed on Monday
The Sakip Sabanci Museum is housed in a beautiful 19th century Ottoman mansion called the Atli Kosk or the Horse Mansion, which is a reference to the prominent bronze horse statue in its front garden. The statue, which is one of two horse statues on the museum grounds, is a copy of the one that used to stand in the Hippodrome before it was stolen during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and moved to Venice.
The mansion belonged to various important people under the Ottoman Empire, such as the rebellious Albanian-Turkish gover of Egypt, Kavalali Mehmet Ali Pasa (a.k.a. Muhammad Ali). The Atli Kosk was purchased by Haci Omer Sabanci, the founder of Sabanci Holding, in 1950. After Sabanci‘s death in 1966, it began to be used as the permanent residence of Sakip Sabanci, the eldest son of the family, housing his rich collection of calligraphy and paintings. In 1998, it was transformed into a museum by Sabanci University and opened its doors to the public in 2002.
The museum boasts excellent permanent holdings, including a painting collection consisting of select works of early Turkish artists and foreign artists that dwelled in Istanbul during the last period of the Ottoman Empire. The collection is mostly focused on the years 1850 to 1950, featuring the works of local artists like Osman Hamdi Bey, Nazmi Ziya Guran, and Fikret Mualla, as well as foreign artists such as Fausto Zonaro and Ivan Ayvazovski. The permanent holdings also include exhibits of calligraphy and other Islamic art, porcelain, furniture, and more.
Another permanent exhibition entitled "The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection", located on the top floor of the Atli Kosk, displays 96 superb examples of Islamic calligraphy in the form of 19th Century Qurans, prayer books, plaques, and formal or diplomatic documents.
There is also a museum shop, a café, and a privately-owned fine-dining restaurant “muzedechanga”, managed and constantly updated by an award-winning chef.