History Museum Ultimate Guide

The Complete Ultimate Guide To Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur

lacamisa.my | April 8, 2024

  • 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily
  • 9:30 AM to 9:00 PM on the second Saturday of every month
  • In conjunction with Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr) 2024, the Museum is closed from April 9 (Tuesday) until April 12 (Friday). The Museum will be opened from April 13 (Saturday) onwards
  • Free parking.
  • Ample parking space available
  • Adults: RM20
  • Students: RM10
  • Senior citizens (Malaysian): RM10
  • Senior citizens (non-Malaysian): RM20
  • Children under 6: Free
  • Payment method: cash or card. 
  • Students are required to show a valid ID while purchasing tickets.
  • +603 2092 7070
  • +603 2274 2020

Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Jalan Lembah Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

  • The Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur is a mesmerizing attraction for both art lovers and history enthusiasts. Situated at the heart of Malaysia’s bustling capital, this museum is renowned for its extensive collection of Islamic art pieces from across the globe. The museum’s architecture, with its traditional Islamic designs and majestic domes, spans an impressive 270,000 square feet, making it a significant landmark in the city.
  • This architectural marvel is not only a museum but also serves as a guardian of Islamic arts, dedicated to their preservation, restoration, and education for the coming generations. Endowed by the Albukhary Foundation and the Malaysian government, this museum is aimed to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of Islamic civilization’s art, culture, and lifestyle.
  • Visitors to the museum can explore a vast array of exhibits showcasing the rich achievements, aspirations, and cultural convictions of Islamic art. The collection includes both permanent museum acquisitions and private collections that have been donated, sponsored, or loaned on a temporary basis. This dynamic blend of exhibits provides a unique and enriching experience, making the Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur a must-visit destination in Malaysia that offers a profound insight into the world of Islamic artistry.

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) was officially opened on 12 December 1998. The museum was established with the aim of collecting, preserving, and promoting Islamic art. Over the past twenty-five years, the museum has grown to become the largest museum of Islamic art in Southeast Asia. The interest in Islamic art has also grown enormously in recent years, and the IAMM has played a significant role in fostering this interest. The museum has become a hub for scholars, researchers, and art enthusiasts who are eager to explore the rich heritage of Islamic art.

The Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur is renowned for its stunning architecture and design which combines traditional Islamic architectural elements with modern design. The exterior of the building features intricate geometric patterns, calligraphy, and arabesque designs. The use of domes, arches, and minarets further enhances the Islamic aesthetic. Inside the museum, visitors are greeted with a spacious and light-filled atrium adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, creating a mesmerizing play of light and color. The use of natural materials such as marble, wood, and metal adds to the elegance and authenticity of the design. Below are the insights of Islamic Art Museum in each level:

Level 1

Spread across four accessible levels, the museum’s main (permanent) and special galleries (temporary), along with its public facilities, accommodate visitors of all mobility levels. On the first level, you’ll find Special Gallery 1, an elegant space available for hire by companies or exhibitors seeking a distinguished venue. This level also houses the Educational Workshop, equipped with resources for students and the general public, alongside a comprehensive Conservation Area dedicated to artifact restoration and preservation. Additionally, a Locker Room is available for visitors to securely store their personal items.

Level 2

On the second floor, visitors will find Special Gallery 2, which functions similarly to Special Gallery 1, offering an additional space for events. The floor also features a Children’s Library that holds special educational activities every Saturday afternoon for kids aged four to twelve. Additionally, there’s a Retail Shop where visitors can purchase artifact replicas and commemorative merchandises. For dining, the Museum Restaurant offers Middle-Eastern and fusion dishes, while the Museum Café provides Malaysian cuisine and snacks. This level is also home to the beautifully landscaped Fountain Garden, designed to mirror an Islamic courtyard, and a Volunteer’s Lounge.

Level 3

Level 3 in Islamic Art Museum houses a 247-seat Auditorium equipped with cutting-edge audio-visual technology, alongside the Rehal Terrace, which acts as an extension for displays or banquets augmenting events in the Auditorium. This level also contains permanent galleries that thematically organize and exhibit various artefacts.

Additionally, three more permanent galleries are located on this floor. The Qurans and Manuscripts Gallery showcases a vast collection of Qurans and texts, both religious and secular, originating from regions like Persia, China, India, Turkey, and the Malay world, focusing on different calligraphic styles. The China World Gallery explores the similarities, differences, and influences between Chinese Islamic arts and those of the broader Muslim world, featuring Chinese calligraphic scrolls and illustrations from the Ching dynasty Quran.

The Malay World Gallery is dedicated to showcasing Malaysian arts, including costumes, jewelry, and weapons, emphasizing the preservation and appreciation of Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage. The India World Gallery presents the ornate decorative arts of the Mughal Empire in India, one of the Islamic world’s most significant empires, displaying remarkable Mughal jewelry, arms, armor, inlaid wooden boxes, metalwork, Qurans, manuscripts, and miniature paintings.

Level 4

Level 4 of the museum is home to six permanent galleries and additional public amenities. The Ceramics and Glassware Gallery showcases a collection of over 130 artefacts, offering insight into the diversity of styles and favored decorative methods. In the Arms and Armour Gallery, visitors can explore the weaponry and defensive attire from medieval Islamic societies, including the curved scimitars from ancient Arabia and Persia and the ornate, jewel-encrusted and gold-inlaid daggers from Moghul India.

The Textile Gallery displays an array of shawls, tapestries, costumes, and rare fabrics that spotlight the intricate decorative details characteristic of Islamic world. The Metalwork Gallery emphasizes the creativity in design and the variety of materials used in Islamic metalwork. A smaller, yet growing collection in the Woodwork Gallery presents items such as pearl and tortoiseshell inlaid pieces from Ottoman Turkey, ivory inlaid items from India, and the fine micro-mosaic woodwork from Persia and Spain. The Jewellery Gallery features an impressive selection of gem-set, lacquered, filigree-worked, gilt-jewellery and personal accessories from India, Persia, Syria, Turkmenistan, and the Malay Archipelago.

Additionally, Level 4 will include a Library filled with reference materials on the arts and cultures, as well as the history, science, and arts of Islamic civilizations. A Patron’s Lounge is available for esteemed members and guests, and a View Terrace offers breathtaking views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

The museum’s design also incorporates outdoor spaces, allowing visitors to enjoy the serene surroundings of Lake Gardens. The landscaped gardens and water features provide a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere, creating a perfect setting for appreciating Islamic art and architecture.

  • The Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur is known for its diverse range of exhibitions and events that showcase the rich heritage of Islamic art. One of the current exhibitions at the museum is titled ‘A Journey Through Islamic Art’. This exhibition takes visitors on a chronological journey through the history of Islamic art, showcasing masterpieces such as intricate calligraphies, exquisite ceramics and textiles from various periods and regions.
  • Another notable exhibition at the museum is ‘Alif Lam Ra: Contemporary Muslim Calligraphy’. This exhibition explores the evolution of calligraphy as an art form in the contemporary Muslim world. Visitors can admire the works of talented calligraphers who have pushed the boundaries of traditional calligraphy to create innovative and thought-provoking pieces.
  • The Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur is conveniently located in the heart of the city’s tourist belt, surrounded by the lush greenery of Perdana Botanical Gardens. It is easily accessible from all parts of Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Peninsular Malaysia via major roads and highways. For visitors traveling by car, free parking bays are available in the vicinity of the museum, making it convenient for those who prefer to drive.
  • Alternatively, public transportation options such as buses and trains are also available, with the museum being just a short walk from the nearest train station. Upon arrival at the museum, visitors will be greeted by the impressive architecture of the building, which is a sight to behold in itself. The museum is housed in a stunning structure that seamlessly blends traditional Islamic design elements with modern aesthetics.

Reviews and photos of Islamic Art Museum in Kuala Lumpur are available here:

The Islamic Art Museum is one of the must-visit destinations for family in Kuala Lumpur especially for educating young children with the Islamic culture. With its rich history, diverse art collections, stunning architecture, and engaging exhibitions, the museum offers a unique and immersive experience through the rich artistic heritage of the Islamic world. The museum’s commitment to preserving and showcasing Islamic art is commendable, and it serves as a valuable educational resource for visitors of all ages.

About the Author

Misa @Lacamisa.my

As a local living in Malaysia, my passion lies in traversing this wonderful country, uncovering one destination after another. Traveling is more than a hobby for me; it's a journey into new cultures, traditions, and undiscovered corners. Another key part of my travels includes enjoying the culinary delights, ranging from simple street food to delicious dishes in upscale restaurants. My ultimate goal is to share these experiences with you by providing a comprehensive guide, complete resources and exclusive discounts for traveling in Malaysia. Stay tuned for more insights and stories as I continue to explore and share the wonders of Malaysia.

Related articles