You cannot admire art in a more beautiful way. The Sakıp Sabancı Museum was opened in the spring of 2002 in the former residence of the entrepreneur Sakıp Sabancı in Emirgan, right on the Bosphorus shore.
Sakıp Sabancı was known for his philanthropy throughout the country. He has not only established Sabancı Holding in 1967, but has also founded many social institutions, including universities, schools, children’s villages and schools for the disabled. Until his death in 2004, he was also considered one of the greatest patrons of art in Turkey.
Today, you can see a large part of his outstanding art collection in the rooms and floors of Sabancı Villa. Around 50 years of calligraphy history van be found here, as well as old Turkish and foreign paintings. The focus is on art works and furnishings from the period between 1850 and 1950. Also, the magnificent garden of the “Atlı Köşk” (Equestrian Villa), as it was known in Ottoman times, offers an archaeological collection of statues, sculptures and decorated stones in front of a beautiful Bosphorus panaroma, which lies at the feet of the visitor.
Both the ground floor and the first floor provide insights into the living culture of the Sabancı family. European furniture, bronze sculptures and photos of family members, private collections of Chinese porcelain, vases, decorated plates, paintings by Ayvazowski and Zanoro, Sèvres vases and French and German porcelain objects can be found. An exhibition hall, in which an old so-called “divit” collection can be seen, is located upstairs. It is a collection of precious antique silver writing utensils such as inkwells, pencils and sharpeners. A special highlight is certainly the Panorama Hall with a phenomenal view over the Bosphorus.
You can also explore the winter garden with its beautiful café. Not far away is a two-storey gallery that exhibits Sakıp Sabancı’s private collection of paintings, presenting the development of Turkish artists. There are also temporary international art exhibitions, including the world-famous artist Salvador Dali with around 385 of his works in 2009.