Modern Art Museum, Showcase of Contemporary Arab art

Kuwait’s Modern Art Museum is one of the few museums in the region which showcases contemporary Arab and international art. Located in an imposing building which was formerly an educational institution and having the distinction of being one of the oldest in Kuwait, the museum’s exterior is as impressive as the diverse collection of art it houses.

The museum is managed by the National Committee of Culture, Arts and Literature which assumed control of the present building after the Gulf War in which it was seriously damaged. The Committee transformed the site into a suitable venue for this highly prominent institution.

A customary wooden doorway greets visitors who enter the museum and leads into an open air lobby which is known as ‘hoash’, a typical feature of buildings in the area. The first artworks that you will see will be those featured in the temporary exhibition hall where modern artists are featured, displaying their latest creations.

Walk further and you will encounter another expansive lobby, this one with a transparent roof overhead. Here you will find a variety of sculptures created over the last few decades. This area is encircled by numerous former classrooms which have been converted into themed art galleries.

This lobby and the former classrooms are used solely to portray the works of Kuwaiti artists including sculpture and paintings from such well-known names as Khazal Al Gaffaz, Essa Sagr, Thuraya Al Baqsami and Sami Mohammed. These artists are recognized as being in the vanguard of the contemporary art movement in the Gulf region.

On the first floor the visitor will find Arab as well as international art from many recognized artists including works from Lebanon’s Paul Guiragossian, Abdul Qader Al Rais from the UAE, Bahrain’s Jamal Abdul Rahim and Nazir Nabaa from Syria. These artists provide fresh perspectives on issues that relate to the Arab world.

A visit to the museum will be a delight for anyone interested in contemporary Middle Eastern and international art. Knowledgeable English-speaking tour guides are available if the visitor requires any clarification.

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