One of the conference’s special guest speakers is Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize winner in literature from Istanbul. In a recent New York Times article, he highlighted the importance of small museums, for these reasons:
The economic growth that we have witnessed in non-Western countries over the past 20 years has brought with it the formation of a middle class. In order to experience the personal stories that come from within these emerging, modern middle classes, what we need are not huge state museums, but small and innovative museums focusing on individuals. The ingenious developments we’ve seen in museums, in regard to curating and architecture over the past 20 years, can turn small museums into wonderful tools through which to investigate and express our shared humanity.
Which museums does he particularly like at the moment? The Gustave Moreau Museum in Paris, the Frederic Mares Museum in Barcelona, and the Rockox Museum in Antwerp, among others including his own Museum of Innocence in Istanbul. And we’re sure he’ll have a great deal to say to all of us about the role of museums in the 21st century.
Top: The Rockox in Antwerp, bottom, the street leading to the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul.