Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

According to Kuwait: Arts and Architecture, A Collection of Essays, Sheikh Nasser, “began collecting in 1975 with the primary aim of returning Islamic objects to Islamic soil. He and his wife assembled over 20,000 pieces.” They placed their collection, known as Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah, in the National Museum in 1983. “The collection drew Islamic art scholars from across the globe.” When Iraq invaded in 1990, some pieces were out of the country on an international exhibition. The pieces in the National Museum were, “carted off to Iraq ‘for safekeeping.’ Immediately after the liberation of Kuwait, negotiations began between the UN and Kuwait concerning the restitution.” Since 2011, the collection has been housed in the old American Missionary Hospital. DAI hosts annual Cultural Seasons, during which they organize lectures, musical performances, workshops and more.

In 2022, the museum had an exhibit about modern architecture in Kuwait. There were videos of Kuwait in the 1960s and 70s, from which these pictures come:


  1. […] According to Roberto Fabbri in his article Fragmentarium, “The American Mission Hospital was built by the Arabian Mission of the Reformed Church. The land was granted in 1911 by the late Amir Mubarak at the far edge of town after a missionary doctor successfully operated on his daughter. The missionary regarded Kuwait as the door to evangelize Arabia, but their aspiration was met with skepticism from the local population. The first medical facility was erected between 1913 and 1914… in steel frames and concrete… the technique aroused great interest in a city habitually built in mud bricks. The last construction in the compound, Mylrea Memorial… was inaugurated by the Amir in October 1955. Al-Amricani remained operational until 1967 when it was deemed obsolete and subsequently closed.” Today the building houses the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah (DAI) collection. […]


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