The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection opens at the renovated Atlı Köşk

09 May 2012
The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection opens at the renovated Atlı Köşk
Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s ‘The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection’ opens at the renovated Atlı Köşk

At its 10th anniversary, S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM) is re-launching its ‘The Arts of the Book and the Calligraphy Collection’ at Atlı Köşk (Horse Mansion) with a new design and a contemporary display approach as of 10th of May. SSM digitalized its collections and archive to provide a detailed look at the valuable and rare manuscripts of the Turkish and Islamic Art. Interactive methods in the exhibition halls, such as the animations that linked to iPad applications with ‘augmented reality’, offer unusual experiences to visitors.

Dr. Nazan Ölçer: We add one more dimension to our museology approach.

 SSM Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer said ‘We are celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary with the renovation of Atlı Köşk and technological presentation of the exhibition of ‘The Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection’. We feel responsible to bequeath this very special collection to next generations, which has started to be collected by Sakıp Sabancı with great passion in the 1970’s. Under the umbrella of Sabancı University, we display this collection of manuscripts, ornaments, scripts that belong to Turkish and Islamic Arts, with an academical point of view and a comtemporary museology concept to continue Sakıp Sabancı’s pioneering attempt. After the Alphabet Reform except certain academics, young generations are estranged to this art form and we are trying to show how arts of the book can be enchanced and broaden our vision with the new digital technologies of our era. By using technological devices we are aiming to attract especially younger and inform them about arts of the book and calligraphy. Thus we digitalized the collection and linked it to iPad, added one more dimension to our museology approach. We hope to transmit traditional arts, that inspires contemporary artists to a wider audience.’

The Meeting of Traditional with Contemporary Art

Sakıp Sabancı Collection of the Arts of the Book and Calligraphy consists of more than 200 examples of illuminated Korans, prayer books, calligraphic compositions, albums and panels written by well-known calligraphers, illuminated official documents bearing the imperial cipher of the Ottoman sultans as well as calligrapher’s tools, all produced during a period extending from the end of the 14th century to the 20th century. With the vision to spread traditional arts, SSM also includes some unique artwork from contemporary artists. In this context, with the new presentation of the collection, the calligraphic composition referring calligraphy exercises of Ahmet Oran dated 2005-2006 greets the visitors. Turkey’s one of the most renowned contemporary artist, Kutluğ Ataman’s video reminding the calligraphic mirror compositions known as müsenna or aynalı, reveals the link of the exhibition to contemporary arts. The special exhibition catalogue is also published in Turkish and English for the enthusiasts who wish to examine closely the Arts of the Book and Calligraphy Collection. Within the framework of the exhibition, a documentary film—showing the manuscript book production in all its phases—realised with the collaboration of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and the Sakıp Sabancı Museum aims at informing the visitors about this difficult creation process.

Parallel Events of the Exhibition

Panel discussions, seminars and adult workshops will also be held during the exhibition. Book arts expert Prof. Dr. François Deroche from Paris Sorbonne University will be hosting a ‘Codicology’ seminar on the 12th of May. Panel discussion titled ‘Sultan Bayezid II, On the 500th year of his death: Books, Poets, Artists’ will be held on the 26th of May. The reign of Sultan Bayezid II and the relations with the West will be discussed by academicians, and will be followed by the launch of a facsimile edition of a poetry book, an eulogy from the SSM’s collection written for Sultan Bayezid II. An adult education program on ‘The Art of Calligraphy –Tradition and Contemporary Applications’ by Assist. Prof. Ali Rıza Özcan will be organised between May 21- June 25, 2012. Additionally, educational programs for children will continue.