The Design

The Design

The Istanbul Women's Museum is a city women's museum. The memory of the city's women is kept alive through exhibitions that honor, inform and provide role models from women's history.

The Istanbul Women's Museum consists of both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition focuses on the themes of art and culture within the broader field of Istanbul women's history. The temporary exhibitions, on the other hand, reflect other aspects of the history of women in Istanbul.

The permanent exhibition of the Istanbul Women's Museum presents the biographies of women who chose a different lifestyle than that which was expected in their times. These women were creative, enthusiastic, inquisitive, brave, persistent; and they therefore, carried a spark that allowed them to break new ground during the 2673-year-long history of Istanbul. The exhibition utilizes an interactive concept, with modern installations and with both chronological and thematic analyses.

This city was given the name Byzantium in 660 B.C.E., Constantinople in A.D./C.E. 330, and, after 1453, was known as Istanbul or Constantinople. The dialogue that we carry on with the biographies of the women who were born in this city or who came to Istanbul later in their lives or who passed a portion of their lives here, lives which have enriched the memory of the women of Istanbul, places them in the network of relationships within which we live today.

For the Istanbul Women's Museum, "first" is not a static concept. In the permanent exhibition, a biography presented as a "first," in the light given by new academic studies of women's history, enlivens our pride in restoring a "first" to one who's place was forgotten or effaced and is now restored.

Short texts accompanying the installations in the premanent exhibition illustrate the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics of each life and, by examining the role models who shaped each woman, also point to an understanding of the wide reach of women's history.

Meral Akkent
Istanbul Women's Museum

Translation into English: Ebru Şanlıtürk
Editing: Margaret Fearey, Milton, Massachusetts, USA

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