11th September 2014-11th January 2015
Istanbul Archaeology Museums

Client: Istanbul Archaeology Museums
Sponsor: Yapı Kredi 
Area: 200 m2
Scope of work: Exhibition design and graphic design

A century ago, the Imperial Museum could finally boast a remarkable catalogue that truly reflected the wealth of its collections. With 1,413 entries over 1,860 pages, this was the work of the French archaeologist Gustave Mendel, who was employed at the museum for almost a decade. This unique catalogue, Mendel’s major work, still stands largely unchallenged today.

Apart from its extraordinary scope and detail, what makes Mendel’s catalogue far superior to those of his predecessors Dumont (1868), Goold (1871), Reinach (1882) and Joubin (1893), is that it systematically used images. Almost every object was illustratedwith detailed drawings by Georges Payraud, based onphotographs taken by the Sebah & Joaillier studio.

This catalogue is one of the main instruments forming the institution’s memory; to tell its story, this exhibit follows a simple script: ten objects, their glass plate negatives and prints, the drawings based on these photographs, and their catalogue entries. An additional selection of documents and publications relating to the objects and to the photographing and cataloguing processes provide a complement of information.

This exhibit is also an occasion to pay tribute to a number of individuals whose pioneering efforts and contributions stand at the crossroads of archaeology, museology, and photography: Gustave Mendel, Pascal Sebah, Polycarpe Joaillier, Jean Sebah, Georges Payraud, Osman Hamdi Bey, Halil Edhem Bey…


Edhem Eldem

Exhibition and Graphic Design:
Cem Kozar, Işıl Ünal

Oya Çitçi, Bahar Balık, Ilgın Külekçi, Gizem Fidan, Gamze Özcan