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Museums & Galleries
 
 
 

Museums

National Museum

The National Museum was once home to many treasures, but sadly it was looted and badly damaged during the Iraqi invasion. Many of the prized possessions, accumulated over many years were taken to Baghdad and the building torched; however, Iraq has begun the process of returning some of the items. The museum is now regaining some of its former magnificence and over 2,000 items are on display, tracing various aspects of Kuwait’s history and heritage. The range covers the ancient past, the development of the Islamic nations, and the impact of the discovery of oil. Part of the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyah collection is also on display, and the replica of the Muhallab II gracing the entrance has also recently been restored as a reminder of Kuwait’s seafaring past. Admission to the museum is 250 fils and access is on the western side next to Sadu House. On approach the museum looks a little unwelcoming and the layout is somewhat confusing – Sadu House is a little barren, as is the building which appears to be the National Museum, however, across the central plaza is the ‘Cultural Museum’ – an adjoining building that traces Kuwait’s history and has excellent displays warranting at least an hour or so to peruse. There is also a modern Planetarium (built by Carl Zeiss) which is a pleasant educational experience for both adults and children.

Qurain War Museum

Qurain War Museum, which is located 20 km south of Kuwait City, marks the spot of the last stand of the Messila resistance fighters against the Iraqi invaders, and has been preserved as a memorial to those that lost their lives. It is located in a residential area off Road 208, and is easily identified by the mounted tank outside and the bullet marks and rocket holes in the building walls, which have been left untouched. The cars belonging to the Kuwaitis that died also remain outside the building to this day. The interior of the house has been converted to a war museum, detailing their valiant fight to the death.

Science & Natural History Museum

The Science & Natural History Museum contains displays of scientific discoveries across various sectors, including electronics, machinery, space, aviation, zoology and petroleum. Each gallery houses a particular theme, and there are some fascinating items on display, such as fossils, skeletons, dried flowers and stuffed animals. Inside there is also a health hall and a planetarium showing a daily Galaxy Skyshow at 6 pm. The entry fee is just 150 fils for adults and 100 fils for children. Refreshments and toilets are available on site, and there is adequate wheelchair access.

Tareq Rajab Museum

This museum has extensive collection of Islamic art and crafts. The collection includes a large collection of ethnic and Islamic jewellery, costumes, ceramics and metalworks. Tapestries and manuscripts round off this very interesting collection along with some unique musical instruments. All articles on display are of Arab or Muslim origin and are clearly marked in English. Entrance is free. The collection is housed in a private villa located in Jabriya (Block 12, Street 5, House no 16), near the 5th Interchange of the Fahaheel Expressway and the New English School. The museum’s name is above the elaborate gilt-metal doorway and all the artefacts are displayed within glass cabinets within the house’s basement.

The Scientific Center

The unique sail-shaped building of the Scientific Center, is a landmark on Arabian Gulf Street. Apart from having the largest aquarium in the Middle East and ‘Discovery Place’ for children, it also has an IMAX theatre that shows several presentations each day (changed on a regular basis). The presentations cover space, technology and educational themes, as well as the ‘Fires of Kuwait’ presentation, based on the Iraq invasion. The museum is dedicated to the cultural heritage of Kuwait, as well as to preserving the natural history of the earth and its environment. A restaurant and coffee shop are located inside, and the facility is wheelchair friendly.

Galleries

Beit Lothan

Beit Lothan is dedicated to the promotion of arts and crafts and is host to various exhibitions and diplays throughout the year. It covers an area of 4,000 square metres on the Arabian Gulf Street and caters to all tastes and themes, including sculpture, ceramic arts, jewellery and photography, as well as contemporary art and calligraphy. Watch out in the local press for details of current and forthcoming exhibitions or seminars.

Boushahri Art Gallery

Established in 1968, Boushahri Art Gallery is the oldest and largest gallery in Kuwait. Temporary exhibitions are regularly held showcasing works from both regional and international artists, as well as local Kuwaiti artists, and it's a great place to discover authentic Arabic art.

British Studio Arts

This small but interesting collection is housed in a private villa and can only be viewed by making an appointment. Located about 20km south of the city it was established in 1998, and displays arts and crafts by leading British artists. More than 300 pieces of art are on permanent display and commissions can be arranged should you have the desire (and the wealth) to own a unique piece of art.

Dar Al Funoon

Dar Al Funoon, which was established in 1993, focuses on contemporary Arab art as well as Arabic calligraphy. Exhibitions are held monthly from October to May, and a special silk exhibition of arts and crafts is held in December. Between temporary exhibitions, items from the private collection are on display, which can be bought. The gallery is located behind the church area, between the Sheraton Hotel and the Arabian Gulf Street. The area itself is interesting thanks to its old Kuwaiti-style houses and a large courtyard which includes a number of excellent restaurants. Not only is the gallery renowned for furnishing many of the hotels in Kuwait, but many visitors or departing expats go there to buy their very own piece of local art.
Free Atelier

The Free Atelier on Arabian Gulf Street opened in 1960 to provide a government-funded studio space for budding artists. Art courses are offered, with tutoring from professional artists. There is a gallery that stages exhibitions of artists' work. The Free Atelier model has since been adopted by other GCC states.

 

 
 


 


 
 

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