New York shines spotlight on Turkish photographer Guler


A selection of photos taken by legendary Turkish-Armenian photographer Ara Guler, who passed away last October, will be on display in New York in September.

Following successful runs in London, Paris, and Kyoto, works by the late Guler will be exhibited at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, in the heart of Wall Street, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 4, said the communications team for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The exhibit will draw in visitors from around the world, as the UN General Assembly will take place in the city this month.

Curated by the Turkish Presidency, the exhibit includes Guler’s iconic photos and portraits of legendary Turkish writer Yasar Kemal and famous poet/folk musician Asik Veysel, as well as international luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Brigitte Bardot, and Sophia Loren.

Famed pianist Fahir Atakoglu will give a recital at the opening of the exhibit.

A panel called “Intercultural Conversation on Ara Güler” will also be held with the attendance of American cinematographer John Bailey, Phillips photography Vice President Chrsitopher Mahoney, famous photographer Alexey Titarenko, and Cagla Sarac, art consultant for the private-sector Dogus Group.

After New York, the exhibition will proceed to the Trastevere Museum in Rome and at the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.

A life behind the lens

Ara Guler was born in Istanbul in 1928. Throughout his life, he was a significant global representative of Turkey’s creative photography.

He worked as a Near East photojournalist for Time Life magazine in 1956, for Paris Match in 1958, and also for German magazine Stern.

Magnum Photos also published Guler’s photos globally, and in 1961, he became the first Turkish member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP).

In 1962, Guler was awarded the Master of Leica title in Germany and was featured in a special issue of Swiss Camera magazine, one of the world’s leading photography publications.

He also took the images for Lord Kinross’ 1971 book on Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia and the cover photo for a book marking the 90th birthday of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.

His images on art and art history were published by Time Life, Horizon, Newsweek, and Skira Publishing.

Guler’s photos of the works of famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan were published in the 1992 book “Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent.”

In 2002, he was awarded the Legion of Honor Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, and in 2009 he received La Médaille de la Ville de Paris from the Paris Municipality.

Guler’s many other honors include the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2005, the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Service Award in 2008, the Turkish Grand National Assembly Superior Service Award in 2009, the U.S. Lucie Awards Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Culture and Arts Grand Award in 2011.

He passed away on Oct. 17, 2018, at age 90.

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