The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) is one of the best museums in Malaysia with over 7,000 top quality artefacts from all over the Islamic world.
Opened in 1998, the museum has 30,000 sq m of exhibition space and is located in a quiet corner of Kuala Lumpur next to the scenic Lake Gardens.
Apart from exhibits from the Middle East, the museum focuses on Asian Islamic arts, particularly those from China, India and the Malay world.
There are 12 permanent galleries:
This gallery showcases fine examples of Islamic architecture ranging from Africa to the Far East. The models of the Taj Mahal are particularly outstanding, as are the unusual mosque designs in various countries and the large-scale model of the Masjid al-Haram, Mecca.
Quran and manuscripts
Focussing on the written word with examples of fine calligraphy, beautiful penmanship, ornate gold embellished texts and minimalist early Kufic works.
Reveals the world of the Mughals with their superb Islamic metalwork and examples of portraiture, although not regarded as strictly in conformity with Islam by some.
Where the Chinese and Islamic influences merged to produce some exquisite artworks including cloisonné wares and calligraphic scrolls.
The use of natural motifs such as plants, fruits and clouds make their way into local arts such as textiles. Examples of wood carving, metal handicrafts and kris designs are also featured.
Displays include elaborate and opulent Indian jewellery sets made from diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls together with examples of more simple ethnic styles from North Africa, Central Asia and China featuring items like nose and toe rings.
Collections of complete costumes from all over the Islamic world are on show as well as some fine wall coverings and rugs.
Arms and armour
Impressive displays of beautifully decorated firearms, swords, daggers, axes, maces, spears, shields and armour are on view.
Coins and seals
IAMM has a wide-ranging collection of both coins and seals dating back many centuries.
Exhibits include brass and bronze trays, bowls, jugs, vases and so on.
Blue and white collections, Ottoman Iznik ceramics, Kashan lustreware and Nishapur calligraphic bowls are among the artefacts.
Living with wood
Finely detailed carvings, screens and windows with intricate geometric patterns, inlaid work and laquerware are featured in this gallery.
Apart from the Permanent Galleries, there are two Temporary Galleries which host special exhibitions periodically.
Islamic Arts Museum Shop
This is the best museum shop in all of Malaysia. They sell their own branded IAMM products together with other attractive and interesting items that are not easy to find elsewhere.
After having visited over 130 museums in Malaysia, the IAMM is the number one museum in the country. What sets it apart is the sheer quality of the exhibits.
It is as if the curator were given a huge budget and told to acquire the very best items from around the world. If you only have time to visit one museum in KL, make it this one. It certainly has international standards in terms of presentation.
Allow two hours or more to view all the exhibits.
Museum Galleries and Shop
Open Daily including public holidays from 10am-6pm.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am-6pm.
Closed on Mondays
Ticket Prices (2019 prices) are as follows:
Students: (with ID) RM7.00
Senior Citizens: (Malaysian 60 and over with ID) RM7.00
Children: (6 and under) FREE
Tickets are charged at RM12 and RM6 respectively when the Special Galleries are closed.
This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com