In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia

Ara Güler, known as the “Eye of Istanbul,” is widely recognized for his iconic views of street life in Turkey in the 1950s and 1960s. Despite the popularity of his images of Istanbul and his portraits of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and other famous personalities, the photojournalist feels his real contributions to human history are his photographs of archaeological and historical sites in Anatolia.

Featured are photographs of medieval Seljuk and Armenian buildings that Güler, who is now eighty-five years old, took in the early 1960s and printed in 1965. Students from Johns Hopkins University, in partnership with the museums, selected the photographs, which are part of the Raymond A. Hare collection in the Freer and Sackler Archives. The exhibition therefore brings images of important Anatolian structures to an American audience, highlighting both the rich cultural history of the region and an important body of Güler’s work.