19th Century

07 September 2016 - 18 December 2016

This exhibition is the second phase of a series of exhibitions dedicated to the eastern routes of travelers. The series began with “Smyrna in the 18th and 19th Centuries: A Western Perspective”, organized at the Arkas Art Center in 2013. The first exhibition looked at Izmir as a beginning point of the journey by exhibiting works and documents that were left behind by travelers, while this exhibition foregrounds the scientific missions of the French, looking at Anatolia as seen by Western travelers beginning their journey in Izmir.


This exhibition looks at the information gathered from travel books, documents, photographs, etchings, and portraits to offer a comparative perspective on 19th century Anatolia’s social, economic, and cultural structure. The exhibition’s perspective is critically distant to the Orientalist viewpoint that betrayed the East for the sake of aesthetic and cultural goals; the aim is to prioritize the contributions of scientific expeditions to show the reality of the East.


The expedition route begins in Izmir and goes through Western Anatolia, the Mediterranean, Eastern Anatolia, Troy, Bursa, Istanbul, Ankara, and the Black Sea region.