Museum Collection
Themed Installation: Sound and Music
November 17 2021–June 20, 2022

The Museum Collection Gallery is dedicated to showcasing the artistic achievements and lasting legacies of Muslim civilizations between the 9th and 19th centuries.

The Museum Collection 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.


Sound and Music, October 2021 to March 2022


Embark on a sonic journey back in time as you absorb marvellous sights and stories from the Aga Khan Museum’s Collection.


Sound and Music features Museum masterpieces that will inspire you to listen while you look. As you tour the main-floor gallery, you will encounter paintings and artifacts evoking soundscapes of medinas and ateliers from centuries past, the sublime poetry of music, and humanity’s relationship to our sense of hearing.

You will feast your eyes on paintings showing performing artists plying their craft. You will also encounter seemingly mute artifacts that, once upon a time, added rhythmic texture to the soundtrack of people’s everyday lives. As you consider highlighted objects on display, imagine listening to them being used: sizzling wax dripping onto a centuries-old candlestick, water burbling in a 16th-century fountain, verses of poetry or the Qur’an being read and recited. After all, these objects were heard, not just touched and seen.


Enriching your experience will be new smartphone-based interactives specially created for Sound and Music, including the Sound and Music Trail. By tapping into this new digital content, you will uncover mesmerizing sounds, ideas, and performances styles connected to the selected objects — and experience the Museum’s Collection as it has never been seen, or heard, before.


Tan-coloured circle with a brown oud inside it

Look for this symbol on object labels



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:

Interior room with red carpet, wooden showcases with ceramic objects on three visible walls, a round couch seat surrounds a pillar in the middle of the room.
La Chambre Persane. Photograph courtesy of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

* Objects below will be featured in the themed installation Sound and Music, part of the Collection Gallery exhibition.

Click here to browse the collections.


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