History of Museum Building
The building has been constructed in the 19th century in neoclassical style, on a sloped terrace. This building is known to be used as a hospital in 1831 (St. Roch Hospital) and to be converted into a care house for poor Christian families by being repaired by the French in 1845. The same building has been used as the Sanitation Institution and health directorate later. On December 2nd, 1984, it has been transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for being arranged as ethnography museum.
Historical Past and Establishment of the Museum
In İzmir, the ethnographic works were exhibited in the lower floor of İzmir Atatürk and Ethnography Museum since October 29th 1978. After that date, the old health directorate, which has been restored between the years 1985 – 1987, has been opened to service as ethnography museum.
Ethnographic works are exhibited and arranged together with the works in the warehouses that are not exhibited and the ethnographic works transferred from the museum directorates of the neighboring locations.
The museum building is constructed on three floors over the ground floor. The 1st and 2nd floors are used as exhibition halls and the 3rd floor is used as warehouse, laboratory, photograph studio and office.
In the exhibition, giving sections from the social life of İzmir and its surroundings in the 19th century is targeted. For this reason, our hand arts such as tin processing, bath clog production, pottery, blue bead production, wooden printing, carpet weaving, ropery, felt production and leather processing, which are about to disappear today due to industrialization are exhibited and introduced.
Exhibition on the 1st Floor:
On the right side, in the 1st section, the 19th century guest room hand ornaments, bath sets and in the 2nd section, blue bead furnace and samples, first Turkish pharmacy of İzmir Province (İttihat Pharmacy), felt processing, bath clog production and tin processing are exhibited. The famous sherbet maker of İzmir (Demirhindi) is exhibited to the visitors from the century it existed. In the 3rd section, Menemen pottery gear and products, leather processing, camel and camel fights, public games, Aegean men and their clothes are exhibited. In the embedded showcases in the internal parts of the halls, money bags, mother – of – pearl inlaid goods, glass and hand made ornaments are exhibited.
2nd Floor Exhibition
In the 1st section, the 19th century bride room, wedding dress showcase, living room, Sunna room and kitchen goods are exhibited. In the 2nd section, Aegean Region bride heads, ornamental goods of women, Ottoman period coins, hand – written books and writing sets are exhibited.