Museum specialist Sema Sagat had a very bright idea for a new showcase of one of the delights of Bodrum, Turkey. Working with the maritime traditions of this timeless Aegean port
—famous since antiquity when it was known as Halicarnasus, birthplace of Herodotus, the father of recorded history, and the Hellenistic location that most greatly preoccupied Alexander the Great— Sema has carved a beautiful exhibition space out of an old, gem-like municipal building.
Centrally located, across from the Post Office and a whisker away from the Marina, the new Bodrum Deniz Müzesi (Bodrum Maritime Museum), is a compact, well-lit, charming space, chock-full of interesting exhibits on various sea-worthy fixations of the inhabitants, like yachting —Bodrum is home-base of Turkey's most articulated boat-races— sponging, fishing and ship-building. Elegant and informative, it impresses visitors with its informal accessibility and quiet welcome, very much a reflection of the easy-going yet sophisticated nature of the lady herself.
I enjoyed my visit enormously, pleased with all parts of the museum but particularly thrilled with its comprehensive collection of sea-shells, one of my favorite artifacts of nature alongside rocks and pebbles.
Sea-shells represent the finest melding of natural design and perfect art. They conform to the golden ratio of 1:1.618 and appeal to our highest ideals of artful symmetry, while tickling our aesthetic sense with all manner of intricate and divine geometry, sparkling colors, polished pearly clarity. Sema has put many rare specimens on display as well as well-known ones, all of them excitingly arranged and boldly presented. I couldn't get enough of looking at them and photographing them, and I present the most photogenic ones here for your perusal.
If ever in the Bodrum area to enjoy its many leisurely pleasures, don't miss out on this lovely museum. With any luck, you'll get to meet Sema while there.
Photos by Algis Kemezys © 2012