Sadberk Hanım Museum is housing more than eighteen thousand pieces of works of art and antiques, representing Anatolian Civilisations for a period of eight thousand years. Sadberk Hanım Museum has celebrated its 25th anniversary with an exhibition based on the topic: “Getting together after Centuries- Artefacts that Sadberk Hanım Museum has contributed to Turkey from abroad”
Turkey’s “First Private Museum” opened a special exhibition, where 339 pieces of artefacts that were imported throughout the period since its foundation were exhibited for the first time and the museum shared the joy and pride of being the guiding and leading force in its field with its guests.
Vehbi Koç Foundation’s Sadberk Hanım Museum was opened as the first private museum in 1980 and with its foundation, a special emphasis was paid to collecting portable samples of artefacts in the museum in line with the appreciation being paid to the Turkish arts. In the beginning, the museum’s collection was solely based on the private collection of Sadberk Koç, whereas in due course the collection was extended through donations and purchases whilst a special effort was spent on purchasing artefacts from abroad to enrich the collection. In this context, the intense efforts of Sevgi Gönül, the Chairperson of the Board of Executives are undeniable. She played a great role in specifically purchasing artefacts at auctions abroad in order to return them to the lands they belonged and added them to the museum. Following the demise of Sevgi Gönül, her nephew Ömer M. Koç took over the responsibility of chairing the Board of Executives and followed the footsteps of his aunt in pursuing the policy of further developing the collection of the museum with the same passion. A conscious attention is being paid to advance the İznik ceramics and tile collection, which in its existing status, is one of the richest collections in the world.
In this special exhibition based on the 25th Anniversary of the foundation of Sadberk Hanım Museum the purpose was to organise an exhibition to introduce to the public the 339 pieces of artefacts that were bought from abroad and were contributed to our cultural heritage. A silver bowl belonging to the Hellenistic period of the 2nd century BC, 10 pieces of tiles belonging to the Timur era if the 14th century AD and 328 pieces of ceramics, tiles, metalwork, fabrics and embroideries belonging to the Ottoman era were exhibited in a chronological order according to the periods of their production.
The main theme of the exhibition is the 328 pieces of tiles, brass, silver, bronze and weavings, which also display the chronological advancement of the Ottoman arts. From the early era of the Ottoman arts, the most prominent characteristic has always been the application of unity and harmony in style and design, thus creating a “Palatial Genre” in the hands of the Guilds of Masters of Arts [Ehl-i Hiref] , whether the subject and design in the hands of ornamental designers is to do with book decoration, metalwork, china, tile, fabric or carpets. For centuries, the masters employed in Topkapi palace have met the demands of the palace and determined the style of the arts of the given period.
The collection of 328 pieces that were returned to the cultural heritage of our country are related to the Ottoman era and were exported at the time when the demand for them from abroad was big for their high artistic qualities and attraction. Foreign visitors who visited the Ottoman lands for various reasons most probably took them abroad either for building collections or for commercial purposes. If all of these pieces of art are watched like a film, the taste of the people, which together composed the fabric of the Ottoman Empire and the level of artistry and richness of handcrafts in the period between 15th and 19th centuries, will become apparent.