The Pera Museum, which opened its doors in early June 2005, is the first step of a comprehensive cultural endeavor that the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation has launched at this distinguished venue in the city for the purpose of providing cultural service on a variety of levels. An historical structure which was originally constructed in 1893 by the architect Achille Manoussos in Tepebaşı (İstanbul's most prestigious district in those days) and which was, until rather recently, known as the Bristol Hotel, was completely renovated to serve as a museum and cultural center for the project. Transformed into a fully-equipped modern museum, this venerable building is now serving the people of İstanbul once again.
The first and second floors of the Pera Museum house three permanent collections belonging to the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation, with the Sevgi and Erdoğan Gönül Gallery on the second floor. The third, fourth, and fifth floors are devoted to multipurpose exhibition spaces. There is an auditorium and lobby in the basement and on the ground floor are the reception desk and Perakende - Artshop and a cafe.
A large part of the first of the two museum floors above the ground floor displays choice examples from the foundation's collection of Anatolian Weights and Measures for the benefit of those who are in love with history and archaeology. Made from many different materials using many different techniques, these objects show the development of the devices used to weigh and measure in Anatolia since the earliest times. In another wing on the same floor is the foundation's collection of Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics, whose strikingly beautiful pieces seek to shed new light on an area of creativity in our cultural history that is not very well known.
The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation's collection of Orientalist art consists of more than three hundred paintings. This rich collection brings together important works by European artists inspired by the Ottoman world from the 17th century to the early 19th. This collection, which presents a vast visual panorama of the last two centuries of the Ottoman Empire, includes works by Osman Hamdi, regarded by art historians as the genre's only "native Orientalist" and of course his most famous painting The Tortoise Trainer. Many paintings from the private collections of the late Sevgi and Erdoğan Gönül have also entered the foundation's permanent collection. It is planned to exhibit the collection in the Sevgi and Erdoğan Gönül Gallery dedicated to their name in a series of long-term thematic exhibitions. The first of these, which opened in early June 2005, is called "Portraits from the Empire" and consists of portraits of sultans, princes, and other members of the Ottoman imperial family as well as of foreign ambassadors together with other "portraits" in the general sense, showing people from many different periods and walks of life.
In addition to its function as a private museum in which to display the collection of the family, the Pera Museum is also intended to provide the people of İstanbul with a broad range of cultural services as a modern cultural center located in a vibrant part of the city and equipped with multipurpose exhibition spaces, an auditorium and lobby, and activity spaces for visitors.
Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.141
34443 Tepebaşı - Beyoğlu - İstanbul
Tel. + 90 212 334 99 00
Fax. + 90 212 245 95 11
Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 - 19.00
Sunday 12.00 - 18.00
The museum is closed on Monday.
Text/Photograph © http://www.pm.org.tr/index_en.html