Displaying the Cultures of Islam at the British Museum: The Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World
October 2018 saw the opening of the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World, two high-ceilinged rooms situated at the heart of the British Museum. Made possible by the generosity of the Malaysia-based Albukhary Foundation, this was the fulfilment of a 3-year project conceived and worked on by a team of six curators—Venetia Porter, Ladan Akbarnia, Fahmida Suleman, Zeina Klink-Hoppe, William Greenwood and Amandine Mérat. Encompassing everything from pre-Islamic inscriptions to contemporary art, Nigerian skullcaps to Chinese porcelains, the Albukhary Foundation Gallery showcases material culture from across the Islamic world. The story that it tells is one of global connections, and, through a focus on objects in their contexts, we hope to provide insights into artistic patronage and the exchange of ideas, how people lived, how they saw themselves and others and what they valued. This chapter sets out the curatorial vision, charting the steps along the way and also looking at how the gallery has been received by the public so far.
KeywordsAlbukhary Foundation Gallery British Museum Ahmad Angawi
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