March, 2022 - Curator Guided Tour of IAMM

On 16th of March, two groups of 11 members walk through the IAMM, piloted by two guides from the Museum. The visit was organised as an overall visit of the twelve galleries of the Museum, starting with the architecture gallery, which displays models from Mosques, shrines and Palaces from the Islamic word. Actually, Islamic art is characterised by three main features; geometric design, floral motives and arabesque, and ornamental calligraphy.

From the mosque of Xi'an to the Taj Mahal, from the palace of the Alhambra to the Dome of the Rock, it links geographical places with very distant artistic traditions, but nevertheless united by this hyphen linked by the community of faith.

We had the opportunity to admire the Damascus room, showcasing the finest painted decorated ceremonial room one could find in the Ottoman empire at the beginning of the 19th century.


The manuscript gallery displays both sacred and profane books.  For the latter, illuminated scientific or literary books present beautiful illustrations. The manuscripts of geography, equestrian art, medicine, or chess, rivaling the fine illuminations of Persian literature. Unlike profane manuscripts, the Qurans and prayer books do not present any animal or human representation but take up, in gold ink and bright colors, the canon of Islamic aesthetics; arabesque, geometric pattern and calligraphy.

We then discovered the Indian, Chinese and Malay galleries before discovering royal jewels from the Mughal Empire upstairs, textile treasures from Central Asia, before ending the visit with the metal and ceramic galleries. The tour was intense, and exhaustive. 

Those who have already visited the museum several times, would perhaps have liked to see certain artefacts presented more precisely, but for the newcomers, the magic of the Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia has operated: a beautiful setting with a magnificent collection.


Anne Degeurry