Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo - Everything You Need To Know

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo - Everything You Need To Know

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo - Everything You Need To Know

Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo - Everything You Need To Know


The Egyptian Museum of Islamic Art is the world's biggest and most famous museum of its kind. This world-class museum specializes in Egyptian Islamic civilization, and the Islamic world houses more than 104,000 informative displays. It shows how civilization has developed and altered throughout the centuries.

Most of the artifacts on display at the Museum came from the lands of Muslims, Azeris, and non-Arabs. There's also art sourced from individuals or families who donated their property on behalf of the museum and contributions from people. In the museum, you will find a collection of the oldest art in Islamic history, from Muhammad's reign to that of his grandchildren. 

The Islamic Art Museum provides visitors access to a diverse array of historical art, such as metalwork, woodcarvings, rugs, ceramics, glass, crystal, coins, shrines, and much more.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the museum of Islamic art in Cairo.


Islamic Art Museum Establishment


The idea for an Islamic art museum was first proposed in 1880. Egypt's authorities took the valuable area out of various mosques, other buildings, and structures. They stored it in the Al Mui'z Street area near the Mosque of Al Hakem in Cairo.

As a result of this short collection, a museum was constructed within a courtyard of a mosque in the Arabian Antiquities House area. At the time, they installed the displays at a museum at this location, but it was not yet open to the public as it opened on December 28, 1903. The museum's name was changed to Islamic Art Museum after the 1952 Egyptian Revolution. 

How Many Displays In The Museum?


When it comes to how many displays are in the museum in Cairo, there is no definitive answer. The Museum of Islamic Art's exhibits has multiplied and increased since its formation. The art gallery had about 7000 displays in 1903. By 1978, there were around 78,000 displays, 96,000 by now, and more than 100,000 today. 

There is a Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo whose collections were taken from many locations in Egypt. It consists of the foundation of the towns Askar and Fustat, the first Islamic towns of Ancient Egypt before Cairo was founded. Besides Aswan, Tanis, Rashid, and Luxor, many other displays were brought from those places. The traveling exhibits were donated or sold to the museum, and contributions from people worldwide also helped bring this exhibition to life.

The museum also acquired Turkish and Persian pottery in the 1945 purchase. The Islamic Art Museum currently houses numerous rare exhibits that cannot be found in any other museum, including textiles, jewelry, fossils, and pieces of ceramics. 


The Museum's Wooden Collection


Many wooden objects in Islamic Art Museum demonstrate early Muslims' skills in crafting and carving wood. Woodcarving art thrived extensively in the Fatimid period because of the decorations and patterns carved into the material. Several traditional decorations can be seen at Sultan Qalawun in El Muizz Street, which was originally taken into the city of Cairo from the Palace of Fatimid Caliphs in the traditional part of Cairo. Eventually, the exhibitions assembled during the Fatimid time became a show at the museum, exhibiting to the public just how creative and innovative the artists and craftsmen were.

Over the years, ivory and pearls were inlaid into wood objects during the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk era. 

Fatimid Period Displays


The Fatimid period in Cairo was a golden age for the arts. The Fatimids were great patrons of the arts and encouraged artists to create works depicting their unique cultures and traditions. As a result, the art of the Fatimid period is very diverse and includes many different styles and genres.

The Islamic Museum of Art features relics of significant cultural significance from the Fatimid era. It contains some stunning jewelry, including an innovative ring made of gold, another ring decorated with plant motifs, as well as a beautiful bronze antelope sculpture.

Mamluk Period Displays


The Mamluks held power over Egypt for a significant period. They were responsible for shaping the heritage and historical development of Egypt. The huge number of exhibits at the Islamic Art Museum effectively demonstrates the aesthetic refinement of Mamluk art and architecture. Many lamps are in collections at the Museum of Cairo. They are designed to provide for the lighting of historic mosques. This light fixture has 3 layers embellished with domes and a sphere-shaped top. They took this illuminating lamp from the mosque of Sultan Hassan, built in 1362.

Museums at the Islamic Art Museum showcase exhibits from the Mamluk period. Among the various treasure, boxes are pencil boxes rich with silver and gold decorations containing Sultan Al Mansur Mohamed's name. Sultan Qaitbey also created an excellent candleholder during their 1473 reign. Candle holders with spectacular Islamic designs made from a plant's tendrils. Aside from metal weapons acquired during the invasion of Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and other Muslim countries, they discovered many sensitive objects from these countries.


Collection of Carpets


This Museum features an exceptionally comprehensive collection of traditional Arabian rugs brought to the Museum from various locations throughout Egypt. The collection of carpets at the Museum continued to expand enormously after the Museum chose in 1949 from the Ali Pasha Ibrahim carpet collection, which was known to be one of the greatest of its kind back then.

One of the most distinguishing features in the Islamic Museum is the tomb cover that was uncovered in 652 A.D., 12 years after Muslims captured Egypt.


Islamic Ceramics Section


Islamic Art Museum exhibits ceramic pieces related to the early years of Islam's development. In particular, the most precious among these is a collection of Abbasid ceramics. The Artisan Gallery, or garden courtyard, was set up in the metropolitan museum to display ceramics. This event has been ongoing for a long time. You will generally find Andalusian courtyards with beautiful artwork, ceramics from Iran, Chinese porcelain, and other antiquities.


The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is a must-see for anyone interested in Islamic art and history. With its massive collection of artifacts from all over Islamic geography, the museum provides a fascinating glimpse into the diversity of Islamic culture. I hope this article will help you if you're searching for an Islamic Museum in Cairo.