The Islamic Arts Museum in Kula Lumpur was on the list as “just in case we had time.” It was not a priority and I hadn’t even read that much about it. However, it ended up being a highlight and we could have spent much more time there, except they closed.
The building itself is a beautiful open space. The first floor is devoted to temporary exhibits. When we were there, we were lucky to encounter The Hajj Journey Through the Ages Exhibition. This was an amazing “series of paintings by Reem Nazir based on archive photographs.” For each “piece” there was an original black and white photograph, a painting, and a journal entry describing the scene or event. It was so instructive and fascinating. If you get a chance to see it elsewhere, I highly recommend it. It was also of such high caliber that next time I am in Kula Lumpur I will be back to see what they have in town.
The permanent exhibits were also magnificent and show an array of ceramics, manuscripts, calligraphy, weapons, jewelry, coins, clothing and more from across the Islamic world.
We also really wanted tea at the café, but as I mentioned we ran out of time. But I did have time for the gift shop which was also well above average as well as reasonably priced. I got a collection of note cards which I love to both send and use as book marks.
The museum is also conveniently located right across the street from the National Mosque of Malaysia which is a beautiful structure with lots of outdoor space and pools. However, it does have the most conservative dress requirements of any mosque I have ever been to. And even with long loose pants, a long sleeve shirt and a scarf, I was required to put on a robe.