Istiklal Avenue in downtown Istanbul has been struggling to preserve its former glory as the city’s cultural hub in recent years. Hearing good news from the neighborhood has become a novelty. But wait, there is some good news, and it concerns the Boudouy Apartment, which has been repurposed after decades of dereliction.

Halfway down Istiklal Avenue, just next Odakule Business Center, is the charismatic Boudouy Apartment, which has recently become the new home of the İş Sanat Painting and Sculpture Museum. The apartment stands between Perukâr and Deva, two dead-end streets that often go unnoticed by people walking down the avenue. As a listed historic building designed to have commercial units on the ground floor and flats above, we know that the apartment was built by the Baudoy Family in 1907, but nothing is known about its architect. The building served as the Beyoğlu branch of Türkiye İş Bank from 1953 to 2016. A comprehensive restoration project was initiated in 2020 under the execution of Teğenet Architects Office to repurpose the building as a Painting and Sculpture Museum. The museum opened on October 29, 2023, on the centenary of the Republic of Turkey, with a special exhibition featuring a selection from the Türkiye İş Bankası Artworks Collection. Curated by art historian and writer Professor Gül İrepoğlu, the retrospective sheds light on the history of various districts of Istanbul. Nearly 600 works carefully selected from the Türkiye İş Bank Artworks Collection will be on display alternately in the museum throughout the exhibition. From a priceless collection of around 2,700 works of art by many artists, from Osman Hamdi Bey to Şeker Ahmet Pasha, from Hoca Ali Rıza to İbrahim Çallı, the selection focuses on the period between the 1940a and today. Starting from the top floor of the museum, the audience will find the opportunity to take a close look at masterpieces featuring Istanbul in this fascinating Beyoğlu apartment. “We included some thematic and conceptual rooms in the exhibition to elaborate the narrative while highlighting the chronological history of the development of Turkish painting,” says İrepoğlu. Delving into the past of the city’s iconic districts, especially in the thematic rooms, offers a whole new perspective for art enthusiasts. İş Sanat Painting and Sculpture Museum is open to visitors free of charge until the end of the year.