Islamic masterworks from Kuwait’s renowned al-Sabah Collection come to the MFAH as part of a long-term collaboration with the cultural institution Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI). The privately held al-Sabah Collection is one of the greatest collections of Islamic art in the world, and the partnership initiates a historic exchange of objects, staff, and expertise.
Among the highlights showcased in this display are spectacular Mughal jewelry, illuminated manuscripts, exquisite ceramics, and intricately decorated ceiling panels. More than 60 examples from the 8th to 18th centuries are on view, made in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The collection also includes carpets, glass and metalwork, paintings, architectural fragments, scientific instruments, and works on paper.
This exhibition marks the first in a renewable, five-year agreement that enables the MFAH to present the glorious achievement of Islamic visual culture in a comprehensive display. The legendary al-Sabah Collection was founded by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah and his wife, Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah. The collection preserves and presents all aspects of Islamic art and comprises more than 30,000 pieces.
► In-Gallery Extra: Guide by Cell
Learn more about these important works of art directly from the curators. Use your cell phone as you tour the installation, and look for the “Guide by Cell” logos in the gallery. Enter each guide number to hear additional information recorded by the two guest curators: Giovanni Curatola, curator of exhibitions for The al-Sabah Collection; and Salam Kaoukji, curator of The al-Sabah Collection. Guide by Cell is free; the only cost is the minutes used on your phone.
Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah
Co-owner, The al-Sabah Collection
Founder and Director General, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah
Director of Exhibitions, The al-Sabah Collection
Guest Curator, The al-Sabah Collection
Curators, The al-Sabah Collection
Graphics Coordinator, The al-Sabah Collection