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The al-Sabah Collection, presented here, covers a chronology of some 6,000+ years. The original collection of art from the Islamic world contains more than 18,000 pieces – collected from every geographic area and dynastic period of the Islamic world through the 19th century CE. This collection also covers every media option – from ceramics to wood. The second, more recent, additions feature some 5,300 objects from the same geographic region but created in pre-Islamic periods. It includes pieces in all relevant media from the early Bronze Age through Late Antiquity. In addition, The al-Sabah Collection includes more than 12,000 numismatic objects and more than 15,000 rare and reference books.

Since 1983, when the Kuwait National Museum opened it’s doors on the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah exhibition of Islamic art objects from The al-Sabah Collection, select groups of objects have been organized into exhibition for viewing both inside and outside Kuwait. In Kuwait, the Kuwait National Museum, the Amricani Cultural Centre, Bayan Palace, Kuwait University, and the Yarmouk Cultural Centre have all hosted stellar exhibitions. Traveling exhibitions, starting with the Islamic Art and Patronage exhibition which opened at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in August 1990, have been hosted in leading museums and cultural centres around the world for more than 30 years.

Books give voice to the art and culture represented by each object. They allow the reader to journey through time and hear the stories of great dynasties and simple artisans; of adventurous travel and domestic bliss; of yesterday and today.

The al-Sabah Collection books, be they scholarly texts on specific media or more visitor-friendly exhibition catalogues, offer extensive looks into specific aspects of objects in the collection. The purpose is to give interested parties a detailed tour of a media or a genre in a format that presents the history and artistic techniques behind the objects and also the culture and communities that inspired them.