The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) was opened in December 1998 and became Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art. It was started due to increasing interest in Islamic art over the recent years. The building occupies 30,000 square metres, situated amid the green surroundings of central Kuala Lumpur’s Lake Gardens.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than seven thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic-art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world. Instead of concentrating on works from the heartlands of Persia and the Middle East, IAMM also puts the emphasis on Asia. China and Southeast Asia are especially well represented. The third component of the Malaysian melting pot is India, which is also given special status. India, China and the Malay world are in an exceptional category. Other parts of the collection are displayed according to type rather than geographical origins in the museum’s 12 galleries.
The style of the museum building is modern, with an Islamic feel created by the details rather than by the structure itself. Iranian tile workers transformed the iwan-style entrance into a ceramic tapestry that frames a welcoming verse from the Qur’an. On the roof, these artisans turned the dome-construction traditions of Central Asia into the building’s crowning glory. The turquoise-coloured domes are now a landmark on the Kuala Lumpur skyline.
Inside the building, the angularity of 21st century design is contrasted with the soft, rounded forms of the five domes that dominate the museum’s interior. Laboured over by craftsmen from Uzbekistan, these imposing features help form an ambience that is both airy and harmony. The seamless continuity of light and space is maintained throughout the galleries and into other areas of the museum, such as the library and the restaurant.
The exhibition space of the Islamic Arts Museum differs from most museums as the galleries are housed in a vast open area. The elimination of spatial division permits uninterrupted movement from one exhibition space to the next, inspiring a sense of continuity embodied in the Islamic spirit. The IAMM has two floors of permanent galleries, and two special galleries for temporary exhibitions.
Located on the Ground Floor, the Museum Shop offers a unique selection of books and artefacts from around the world. Spanning the globe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Far East, this is a treasure house of exotica with a unifying theme. The creative glory of the Islamic world is still alive in a wide variety of crafts. Whether it is bold Southeast Asian woodwork for the home, or intricate Middle Eastern jewellery for personal adornment, this outlet supports artisans with a gift for beautification. To feed the mind as well as the soul, there is an exceptional selection of books, with the emphasis on art and the Islamic world. For children, there is a special section which features books, puzzles and other educational material.
A variety of products exclusively developed by the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is also on display. In addition to the main shop, there is a smaller outlet on the Lower Ground Floor which is dedicated entirely to museum related items.
The Museum Shop is open from 10.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Sunday, including most public holidays. Entrance to the Museum Shop is free, and there is ample free parking.
Tel: +6(03)2270 5110/5135
Fax: +6(03)2274 0084
Museum Operation Hours
Museum Galleries & Shop
Mondays to Sundays : 10am – 6pm
Public Holidays : 10am – 6pm
Tuesdays to Sundays : 10am – 6pm
Closed on Mondays
Museum Admission Charges
Adults : RM12.00
Students (with ID) : RM6.00
Senior Citizens (Malaysian 55 and over) : RM6.00
Children (6 and under) : FREE
Tickets are charged at RM10 & RM5 respectively when the Special Galleries are closed.
For bookings and enquiries on museum tour, email or fax your correspondence to:
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia,
Jalan Lembah Perdana,
50480 Kuala Lumpur