10 Popular Museums And Galleries To Visit In Kuala Lumpur
By: Pinki Fri, 01 Dec 2023 10:37:24
The vibrant capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, stands out as one of the world's most sought-after destinations. Despite its relatively short history, it holds its own when compared to other cities, boasting a wealth of heritage and valuable treasures. Reflecting a diverse blend of cultures, Kuala Lumpur's museums and galleries serve as a captivating display of the city's rich historical tapestry.
These institutions offer a glimpse into various aspects, from Islamic art to a journey through the annals of history, exploring textiles, telecommunication, police and air services, the global art scene, and more. Exploring these renowned tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur proves to be a delightful, enlightening, and fascinating experience.
# Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Art Museum, housing an exceptional collection of world-class Islamic decorative art, encompasses 12 galleries, a Scholar's Library, a Museum shop, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and serves as a venue for workshops, seminars, children's activities, and various competitions.
The museum's architecture is distinguished by glazed tile work and adorned domes. In addition to over 7,000 art-related objects, the collection includes calligraphy-inscribed pottery, carpets, exquisite textiles, and jewelry. The museum's gift shop offers unique items from Islamic destinations, making it a delightful stop for visitors. Furthermore, the museum serves as a hub for Islamic studies.
# National Textiles Museum
Situated within a splendid Mughal-style building, the National Textiles Museum comprises four permanent galleries and one temporary gallery, all centered around a textile theme. The lower floors of the museum showcase the history of Malaysian textiles and fabrics, including Songket, the machinery used in manufacturing, and traditional production processes.
Moving to the upper floors, visitors can explore details about Malaysian fabrics, design motifs, headgear, jewelry, and other related items. The museum features a Resource Centre housing a collection of books and magazines focused on Malaysia and international Textile Art. Additionally, it offers amenities such as a cafeteria and a gift shop.
Beyond its exhibits, the National Textiles Museum serves as a venue for various activities, including theatre and fashion shows highlighting textiles, seminars, textile talks, workshops, batik activities, and more.
# National Museum
An essential stop in Kuala Lumpur, The National Museum provides a window into Malaysia's rich historical narrative. Key features include Early History displays showcasing Bronze Age and Neolithic artifacts, items from Malay Kingdoms, including Islamic realms, two captivating small free side galleries, an ever-changing exhibition (with additional charges), a replica of a traditional house, the Malay World Ethnology Museum, the Orang Asli Craft Museum, and ancient burial poles from Sarawak.
Facilities at the museum include a parking lot, cafeteria, disabled facilities, and a Museum shop. The exhibits also cover traditional jewelry, costumes, and the nation's transportation history. With its splendid Malayan architecture, the museum is centrally located in the heart of the city.
# Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery
Situated within the Sasana Kijang Complex, the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery features several small museums centered around themes such as money, banking, and finance.
Noteworthy attractions include a captivating 3-meter-long tunnel adorned with RM 1 million inside the Children’s Gallery, a collection of ancient money and coins presented with interactive screens, and information about the lesser-known Islamic banking system operating in accordance with Sharia Law.
Another intriguing exhibit showcases objects like silver bars, shells, and ingots that served as currency at various points in history. This combined Museum and Art Gallery can be categorized into distinct sections, including the Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery, Children’s Gallery, Economics Gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Islamic Finance Gallery, and the art collection housed within the Central Bank.
# Petrosains, The Discovery Center
Blending interactive displays, engaging science shows, and educational exhibits, Petrosains, The Discovery Centre captures the interest of individuals across all age groups. It features a range of attractions, including the Molecule Café, XPLORASI Gift Shop, Dark Ride, Space Gallery, Geotime Diorama, Oil Platform, Speed Gallery, 3D Gallery, Molecule Nano World, SPARK gallery, Oil Platform, and the Music, Art, Science Gallery.
Visitors at this science center engage both their physical and mental abilities, encountering a variety of captivating activities and displays. A visit to Petrosains, The Discovery Centre promises a truly memorable experience.
# National Visual Arts Gallery
Referred to as NVAG, the National Visual Arts Gallery is situated within a striking pyramid-shaped structure and showcases both contemporary and modern Malaysian art. The gallery comprises numerous exhibition spaces, serving as a venue for various temporary shows that highlight the artistic creations of local and regional artists.
Prominent displays at NVAG include a permanent collection featuring approximately 4,000 art pieces, including paintings by artists such as Ahmad Fuad Osman, Zulkifli Moh’d Dahalan, and Wong Hoy Cheong. The collection also showcases works by Chuah Thean Teng, the renowned batik artist.
Inspired by the spiral Guggenheim Museum-style staircase, the NVAG's interiors provide access to the main galleries. The side stairs serve as platforms for displaying artworks. This art gallery in Kuala Lumpur offers a diverse range of artworks catering to individuals of all age groups with varied interests.
# Wei-Ling Gallery
Situated in the Brickfields district of Kuala Lumpur, Wei-ling Gallery serves as a venue for captivating art fairs and exhibitions. Established in 2002, this contemporary art gallery occupies the top two floors of an old shop house, providing a platform for local artists and contributing to the encouragement of contemporary art and Malaysian culture.
The showcased works encompass various artistic forms, including drawing, architecture and design, painting, photography, sculpture, artists' books, prints, and electronic media. Notably, the gallery stands as the largest book publisher for works by Malaysian artists. Additionally, Wei-ling Gallery also features exhibitions of art by foreign artists.
# Galeri Petronas
Established in 1993 by Petronas, the Malaysian multinational company dedicated to promoting art and culture, Galeri Petronas showcases contemporary artworks, including paintings and photographs. The gallery serves as a platform for both Malaysian and international artists to present their works in modern-style galleries during curated shows and exhibitions by professionals.
Designed and equipped to meet international art gallery standards, Galeri Petronas features flexible and multi-functional spaces, facilitating easy arrangements for art displays and other activities. The Bustle Gallery and the Main Gallery can simultaneously host multiple exhibitions, creating an engaging arrangement for art showcases.
Galeri Petronas exhibits the works of approximately 1000 local and international artists, encompassing a blend of traditional and contemporary artworks such as paintings, photographs, costumes, and crafts. Initially located in the Dayabumi Complex, the gallery relocated to its current venue in 1998.
# Badan Warisan Malaysia
Established in 1983, Badab Warisan Malaysia is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the country's built heritage. This organization actively organizes exhibitions and operates a small shop offering local handicraft items, antique wooden furniture, and books. Visitors can enhance their experience with a guided tour.
Occupying a colonial bungalow from the 1920s, the organization's headquarters serves as a testament to its commitment to heritage preservation. For enthusiasts of historic structures, exploring buildings conserved by Badab Warisan Malaysia is a rewarding experience. Some notable examples include Gedung Raja Abdullah in Kelang, Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, Mesjid Merbok Pengkalan Kakap in Kedah, Istana Tengku Long in Terengganu, and Rumah Kutai and Rumah Bomoh in Perak.
# Malay World Gallery
An integral part of the National Museum and situated within the same complex, the Malay World Gallery stands as a repository of a remarkable collection featuring unique displays connected to the history and civilization of Malaysia. These exhibits span regions such as Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, Madagascar, and, of course, Malaysia.
The Polynesian collections emerge as a prominent highlight. The Malay World Gallery's collection is organized into three main categories: Archaeological Collection, Ethnological Collection, and Natural History Collection. Within the gallery complex, visitors can find amenities such as a souvenir shop, parking area, cafeteria, Muslim Prayer Room, Traditional Customs area, and the option for guided tours.