It was a cold January in Kuwait as the DAI curator, Salam Kaoukji, guest curator Giovanni Curatola and conservator Sophie Budden travelled to Houston, Texas to install a long-term loan from The al-Sabah Collection to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH). Other than presenting a selection of Islamic art objects from our collection to the American public, the exhibition will serve as a teaching support to MFAH Islamic art curator, Aimee Froom who coordinated and organized the installation in Houston, in the Islamic art courses she is teaching at Rice University.
The collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston was first announced in 2012 by Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah al-Sabah who have always been committed to sharing works of art from The al-Sabah Collection with the public in and out of Kuwait. The expansion of the “Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait” exhibition first shown at the MFAH in 2013, represents the museum’s director, Gary Tinterow’s vision for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His efforts reflect his recognition that there is a community that deserves to be represented in the museum and an audience that is open to learning more about the art and culture of the Islamic world.
The new display of 240 objects, illustrates the development of artistic production and aesthetic values in Islamic culture over the last 1000 years, and now features objects including decorative architectural elements, pottery, metalwork, woodwork, religious manuscripts, textiles, carpets and jewellery ranging in date from the 8th to the 18th centuries.
The collection will be on display from the 31st of January 2015
About the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Established in 1900, the MFAH is the oldest art museum in the region, with collections spanning antiquity to the present. The MFAH main campus comprises the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo and opened in 2000; the Caroline Wiess Law Building, designed by Mies van der Rohe which opened in 1958, with an extension completed in 1974; and the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi and opened in 1986. The Beck and Law buildings are connected by the Wilson Tunnel, which features James Turrell’s iconic installation The Light Inside (1999). Additional spaces include a repertory cinema, two libraries, public archives, and a conservation and storage facility. Nearby, two house museums—Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and Rienzi—present American and European decorative arts. The MFAH is also home to the Glassell School of Art and its acclaimed Core post-graduate residency program and Junior and Studio Schools; and the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), a leading research institute for 20th-century Latin American and Latino art. Click here to go to the MFAH website and take a look at the images of objects during installation below.