Pera Museum Façade

Inaugurated on 8 June 2005, Pera Museum is a private museum founded by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation. The aim of offering an outstanding range of diverse high quality culture and art services is as important today as when the Museum first opened its doors to the public.

Couched in the historic quarter of Tepebaşı, the impressive building was originally conceived as the Bristol Hotel, designed by architect Achille Manoussos. Restorer and architect Sinan Genim was given the daunting renovation operation in 2003; the triumph of transforming the interior into a modern and fully equipped museum is only matched by the architect’s mastery in simultaneously preserving the exterior façade, safeguarding an integral part of Istanbul’s architectural flavour.

Through Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation's three permanent collections, “Orientalist Paintings”, “Anatolian Weights and Measures”, and “Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics”, Pera Museum seeks not only to diffuse the aesthetic beauty of these collections but also to create a dialogue with the public concerning the values and identities they encompass. Utilizing a full scope of innovative methods, including exhibitions, publications, audio-visual events, learning activities, and academic works, the objective of transmitting the beauty and importance of these works to future generations is realised. Having organized joint projects with leading international museums, collections, and foundations including Tate Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, St. Petersburg Russian State Museum, JP Morgan Chase Collection, New York School of Visual Arts, and the Maeght Foundation, Pera Museum has introduced Turkish audiences to countless internationally acclaimed artists. Some of the most illustrious amongst these include Jean Dubuffet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rembrandt, Niko Pirosmani, Josef Koudelka, Joan Miró, Akira Kurosawa, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Goya, Manolo Valdés, Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton, Alberto Giacometti, Giorgio de Chirico, and Sergey Parajanov

Since its inauguration, Pera Museum collaborates annually with national and international institutions of art and education to hold exhibitions that support young artists. All of the Museum’s exhibitions are accompanied by books, catalogues, audio-visual events in addition to learning programs. Parallel to its seasonal programs and events, Pera Film offers visitors and film buffs a wide range of screenings that extend from classics and independent movies to animated films and documentaries. Pera Film also hosts special shows that directly correlate with the temporary exhibitions’ themes.

Pera Museum has evolved to become a leading and distinguished cultural center in one of the liveliest quarters of İstanbul.

History of the Building

History of the Building

The construction of Hôtel Bristol, designed in unison with the general architectural character of the time by architect Achille Manoussos, was completed in 1893. The building was owned by the Armenian Catholic Patriarchate.

Hôtel Bristol was among the city’s most important hotels, and it frequently hosted high-ranking international guests. It remained in service until the early 1980s.

Constructed with brick masonry, Hôtel Bristol displayed features of neoclassical architecture: It had a large lobby, marble stairs, a lift, comfortable suites, halls, and a spacious dining hall with separate table seating.

Over the years, Hôtel Bristol had famous managers, such as Logothetti, Adampoulos, Djiras and Hadjira. Reflecting the changes in the region’s demographic composition in the early 1930s, Ömer Lütfi Bengü bought the hotel and continued to manage it until the 1980s.

In the 1980s, Hotel Bristol could no longer compete with newer hotels. Following the passing of the final owner of the hotel, Ömer Lütfi Bengü, in 1983, his heirs put it up for sale. The building was first purchased by Yıldız Lastikçilik, a rubber manufacturer, and then by Esbank, a national bank.

The building was redesigned by architect Doğan Hasol in order for it to function as the headquarters of Esbank. The hotel and the adjacent five-storey residential building underwent comprehensive renovation; their lots were combined but their façades facing Meşrutiyet Street were retained.

The building served as the headquarters of Esbank until 2002. It was redesigned as a modern and fully equipped museum by architect Sinan Genim, who retained Manoussos’ original façade as well as the lots combined by Hasol.

Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation

Suna Kıraç, İnan Kıraç and İpek Kıraç established the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation on 27th October 2003; the principle aspiration being to provide a lasting legacy for the Turkish population by promoting the domains of education, healthcare, culture and art. To achieve its goals in the educational sphere, the Foundation supports talented students requiring assistance, as well as educational institutions, by providing individual scholarships and grants for education and research. Since inauguration the Foundation has provided scholarships for more than three hundred disadvantaged students, ranging from primary school level to post-graduate degrees.

Focusing on neurodegenerative diseases in its endeavours in healthcare, the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation aims to provide excellent training foundations for scientists through collaborations with outstanding international universities and institutions. By further honing the skills of the next generation of medical practitioners, the Foundation seeks to promote Turkey as one of the leading countries in the field of healthcare. To achieve the full extent of these ambitions the Foundation embarked upon a mutually beneficial collaboration with Harvard University Medical School and Boğaziçi University in addition to launching Boğaziçi University Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Neurodegeneration Research Laboratory (NDRL) in 2005. Another closely intertwined objective is to closely monitor worldwide healthcare developments and to facilitate the exchange of quality information on an international platform. As a key component of this objective the Foundation has initiated a series of biannual conferences, entitled Suna Kıraç Neurodegeneration Conferences. The first conference, “New Horizons in the Diagnosis and Treatment of ALS,” was held in April 2007 and received attention and acclaim from international circles of science and medicine.

Inspired by the vision of its co-founders’ to protect and preserve the outstanding cultural assets of Turkey that are starting to perish, the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation undertook another project spanning from 2005 to 2007. The task of transferring the collection of the Millet Manuscript Library, established by renowned Ottoman intellectual Ali Emîrî Efendi, into a digital format was an impressive challenge. With funding generously provided by the Getty Foundation, one of the leading foundations in the world, the completion of the necessary infrastructure to transfer the collection of approximately 20,000 manuscripts was successfully realised. A further extension of the project is now being executed with the facilitation of a system to catalogue and conserve the inventory of manuscripts held at the Millet Library as its new target.

The culture and arts initiatives of Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation continues are also continued through the illustrious mediums of the Pera Museum and İstanbul Research Institute respectively.

Contact Us

Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:65
34430 Tepebaşı - Beyoğlu - İstanbul

Tel. + 90 212 334 99 00
Faks. + 90 212 245 95 12

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