Observations – KL Visit – Islamic Art Museum Part 7

This is the next part of the series of articles about the trip I made to the museum of Islamic Art in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last year with my family.

Taking the lift to the next floor from the Architecture gallery, we find ourselves in a small gallery in front of the elevator. Remember that the Museum applies the idea of Open Plan, so it is sometimes hard to distinguish different Galleries. This gallery is one of the case, where it almost combined with the Ceramics exhibitions further ahead.

The Gallery of the Metalwork is situated just in front of the elevator before the Ceramics gallery that wraps around the walkway which oversees the Quran and Manuscript gallery just down below and topped with the same blue hued decorated dome we saw in the Manuscript exhibition.

The Gallery itself, if you can distinguish from the rest of the exhibitions,is relatively smaller than the ones we saw before. The collections are small, but very interesting.

As the gallery is situated nearby an open modern glass wall-window, the artifacts, which are made mostly of copper and brass, glittered in the  gentle afternoon sun, as if they were made of gold or silver. In fact, real gold and/or silver metalwork items are very rare in the Islamic world, as the exhibit explains. The artifacts are mostly large serving plates, ewers and vases made of copper and brass, highly polished and decorated with beautiful carvings of delicate Arabesques, flowing Calligraphy and sharp Geometric motives. There are some examples of copper lamps as well as incense burners, of which the modern recreations you can obtain from a specialty shop.

Just outside the window, you can see a green dome, decorated with floral tiles and calligraphy in white against a blue-black background. You are not allowed to go to the dome itself, so you have to see it from far. The dome is not very well maintained because it was covered in water stains – hopefully the Museum will take care of the dome so they can show it in pristine condition.

One of the plates on display. The carving on the tray is magnificent, unfortunately my awful iPod camera does not capture the beauty.

Another delicately carved copper tray. Again the awful camera doesn’t capture the magnificence of the carving – a combination of Mamluke style calligraphy, arabesques and I think I saw some sort of figure.

This is actually a ceramic basin, but it looks almost like it is made of metal. This one artifact is featured just in between the galleries of Metalwork and Ceramics. It has the decoration of calligraphy stylized around the perimeter of the basin.

The green tile covered dome as seen from the Gallery. As you can see the dome is badly maintained but the door leading to the dome is barred – perhaps they were on their way of cleaning the dome.



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