Exhibitions from
The Al-Sabah Collections to International Museums

Arts of the Islamic Lands: Masterpieces from The al-Sabah Collection

The al-Sabah Collection is cooperating with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) to provide an introductory look at Islamic art. The exhibition, some of which change on an annual basis, highlights the diversity and beauty of art from the region. Featuring around 280 objects that present the chronological and geographic spread of the Islamic world, the exhibition always includes objects that showcase arabesque, calligraphy, figurative, and repeating geometric patterns. This allows visitors to the MFAH to discover the full depth of art from the region.


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX USA

Splendors of the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection

“Splendors” is truly the right word for this exhibition of 188 objects from the early Bronze Age through Late Antiquity. The exhibition features exquisite pieces from each age and geographical location in what would become the Islamic world. As presented, visitors are able to immerse themselves in ancient Mesopotamia, under explored Elam, Hellenism beyond the borders of Greece, and much, much more. The exhibition provides a glimpse of the influences on and evolution of art from the 4th millennium BCE to the 8th century CE. There is a catalogue in Arabic and English.


National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar 

(25 March – 1 August 2020)

al-Fann: Art from Islamic Civilization

Beautifully described by Professor Giovanni Curatola of Udine University, the curator of al-Fann, “this exhibition has the ambitious purpose of giving a proper response to the growing interest in the rich culture of Islamic civilization. It will give this culture the balanced representation of the scholar, suffused with the passion of the art-lover”. With more than 350 outstanding objects from The al-Sabah Collection, the exhibition presents different materials including ivory, glass, stucco, pottery, metal works, manuscripts, woodwork, textile and carpets. Catalogue in Arabic, English, German & Italian.


Bahrain National Museum, Bahrain   (18 January – 30 June 2018)

Azienda Speciale Palaexpo, Rome, Italy   (25 July 2015 – 20 September 2015)

National Museum of Korea, South Korea   (1 July – 20 October 2013)

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria  (21 March – 20 June 2011)

Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy   (20 October 2010 – 30 January 2011)

Treasury of the World: the Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals

Considered one of the most comprehensive and richest collections of Indian jewelled arts in the world, Treasury was inaugurated at British Museum, London on 16th May 2001. It then moved to the USA where it was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Fine Arts Museum, Houston, Texas and St. Louis Museum of Art, Missouri. Moving to the Royal Palace in Madrid, Treasury was opened by the King and Queen of Spain, and is currently on exhibit at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin. Treasury of the World will close its European tour at the Louvre, Paris in the summer of 2006. The catalogue accompanying this exhibition contains photographs and descriptions of all 395 pieces, identifying each object by catalogue number and The Collection’s registration number; detailing the materials, techniques, measurements and regional and temporal attribution; recording the source and date of its acquisition by The Collection; and listing any previous publication history. Catalogue in Arabic, English, French, German, Russian & Spanish


Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(2 August – 31 December 2010)

Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore 

(1 February – 25 April 2010)

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

(6 July – 4 Septembre 2006)

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia 

(7 July – 8 November 2009)

Kremlin Museums, Moscow, Russia   

(20 February – 20 May 2009)

Museum für Islamische Kunst & Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany   (28 January – 20 April 2005)

Palacio Real- Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, Spain  (15 October 2004 – 9 January 2005)

The Saint Louis Art Museum, MI, USA   (8 November 2002 – 27 April 2003)

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, USA   (30 June – 27 October 2002)

The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH, USA  (24 February – 19 May 2002)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, USA 

(15 October 2001 – 13 January 2002)

The British Museum 

 (16 May – 2 September 2001)

Islamic Art and Patronage: Treasures from Kuwait, (IAP)

Left Kuwait in September 1990, opening at The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia 6 days after the invasion of Kuwait. It continued to travel for 13 years, hosted in 22 museums in fourteen countries including, UK, USA (Maryland, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia, Missouri & Louisiana), Canada, France, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Australia (Perth & Sydney) and New Zealand. Because of its high publicity during the occupation of Kuwait, IAP became a powerful political statement and a true Kuwait Ambassador to the world. The fully illustrated catalogue accompanying this exhibition includes discussions by prominent scholars in the field of Islamic art. Catalogues have been published in Arabic, English, French, German and Italian


Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Sharjah, UAE (31 October 2008 – 28 February 2009)

Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland, New Zealand (18 April – 22 June 2003)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (30 November 2002 – 27 January 2003)

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia   (27 June – 15 September 2002)

National Museum Bahrain, Cultural & National Heritage, Manama, Bahrain   (10 January – 10 March 2001)

National Museum, King Abdulaziz Historical Center, al Murabba, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia  (8 October- 8 November 2000)

Mohammad Mahmoud Khalil Museum, Cairo, Egypt    (6 April – 6 July 1999)

Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK  (30 September – 11 December 1998)

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal   (22 October 1997 – 22 February 1998) 

Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (22 May – 20 October 1996)

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England 

(11 April – 25 June 1995)

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy

(18 March – 19 May 1994)

Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Holland   (13 June – 7 November 1993)

Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France   (12 February – 16 May 1993)

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, USA   (14 November 1992 – 10 January 1993)

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, Canada (4 June – 4 October 1992)

St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, MI, USA   (15 February – 12 April 1992)

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, USA   (5 November 1991 – 19 January 1992)

Scottsdale Art Center, Scottsdale, AZ, USA (5 – 13 October 1991)

Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology, Atlanta, GA, USA (19 June – 22 September 1991)

Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, USA (6 March – 12 May 1991)

Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD, USA  (9 December 1990 – 17 February 1991)

Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, USSR   (6 – 31 August 1990)

Al- Masahif are gifts to al-Masajid  (Note Abu-Dhabi Exhibition)

Zarabi, Carpets: Reflection of an Ideal World

17 April – 17 July 1999
An exhibition of 16 precious carpets, representing a broad range of styles and materials of fine carpets from the Islamic world. A catalogue was published in English.

Venue: Islamic Art Museum, Malaysia

Kuwait History and Culture

14 December 1987 – 6 January 1988
Special exhibition to celebrate Bahrain National Day
66 including ceramics, glass, leather, manuscripts and numismatics

Venue: Bab al-Bahrain Exhibition Hall, Bahrain

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