The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) is probably the best museum in Malaysia with over 7000 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. I particularly liked the models of the Taj Mahal, unusual mosque designs in various countries and the large scale model of the Masjid al-Haram, Mecca.
Focussing on the written word with examples of fine calligraphy, beautiful penmanship, ornate gold embellished texts and minimalist early Kufic works.
Revealing the world of the Mughals with their superb Islamic metalwork and examples of portraiture (not seen 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.
Impressive displays of beautifully decorated firearms, swords, daggers, axes, maces, spears, shields and armour are on view.
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.
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.
This is the best museum shop I have seen in Malaysia. They sell their own branded IAMM products together with other attractive and interesting items which are not easy to find elsewhere.
Having visited over 130 museums in Malaysia I consider IAMM to be 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 I suggest you make it this one. International standard in terms of presentation.
Allow at least one and a half hours to view all the exhibits.
Museum Galleries & Shop
Open Daily including Public Holidays from 9.30am - 6pm.
Closed on Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji.
On average, museum visitors spend 1.5 hours exploring the permanent exhibits of the museum. It is recommended that visitors arrive before 5 p.m. to ensure a satisfying experience, as the museum closes at 6 p.m. In this way, visitors are able to enjoy the museum's offerings comfortably without feeling rushed.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9.30am - 5pm
Ticket Prices (2024 prices) are as follows:
Students (with ID) RM10.00
Senior Citizens (Malaysian 60 and over with ID) RM10.00
Children (6 and under) FREE
Payment can be by card or cash.
You can find the location of Islamic Arts Museum on this map:
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Jalan Lembah Perdana
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2092 7070 or +603 2274 2020
GPS: 3.141475, 101.689737
Ample free parking is available.
Many of these attractions can be covered using my Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens Trail as a guide.
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