The Collections Gallery of the Aga Khan Museum is dedicated to showcasing the artistic achievements and lasting legacies of Muslim civilizations between the 9th and 19th centuries. Objects on view come from as far afield as Spain in the west and China in the east.
In the Collections Gallery, visitors will enjoy a rotating display of nearly 200 objects from the Museum’s Permanent Collection, masterpieces reflecting a broad range of artistic styles and representing more than ten centuries of human history. Including such works of art as manuscripts, painting, ceramics, glass, and textiles, the Collections Gallery provides an overview of the artistic, intellectual, and scientific contributions of Muslim civilizations to world history and heritage.
Parts of the gallery are refreshed twice a year with themed installations that explore special topics and allow light-sensitive materials to rest.
BLOOM, October 20, 2020 to May 10, 2021
“Behold the garden of the heart, green and moist and fresh,
full of rosebuds and cypresses and jasmines.”
Immerse yourself in radiant colours and lush patterns evoking the splendour of the natural world.
For Bloom, our curators cultivated a garden path using artifacts from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. Planted throughout the gallery are pieces adorned with flowers, trees, vines, and other greenery.
As you meander through, gaze upon nature-inspired designs on paintings, delicate ceramics, and fine metalwork. Look for letters intertwined with floral ornamentation. Read passages from Persian poets and philosophers yearning to capture nature’s beauty in the written word.
Gardens and flowers, these artifacts remind us, are more than just pleasing to the eye. In poetry and literature, flowers symbolize the most vivid of human emotions and the mysteries of creation. In early scientific manuscripts, scholars heralded new discoveries about plants and what they tell us about the broader world.
With this rotation, we invite you to consider the wide-ranging power of plants — to decorate, to heal, to teach, to convey love’s many hues, to prompt spiritual reflection. Or just bask in the colours and the light, as you might on a pleasant day in the garden, when the flowers are in bloom.
The Bellerive Room is our homage to Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933-2003) and his widow, Princess Catherine Aga Khan, whose collection of Islamic art forms the core of the Aga Khan Museum’s holdings. The room is a recreation of the “La Chambre Persane,” or “Persian Salon,” in their home, Chateau de Bellerive in Geneva, Switzerland, where part of the collection was originally on display.
The room features ceramics representing the breadth and depth of production from the Islamic world. While many of the items here were originally used on a daily basis, they are presented here for their beauty and the high level of craftsmanship that went into making them.
The Bellerive Room is free for visitors to enjoy during Museum hours and is available for private functions and other events.
You can explore the Bellerive Room on this 3-D virtual tour: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=DDJHkccqJV5
La Chambre Persane. Photograph courtesy of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
* Objects below will be featured in the themed installation BLOOM, part of the Collection Gallery exhibition.
Click here to browse the collections.