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Visual Arts in Kuwait

Exhibition at The Sultan Gallery
Exhibition at The Sultan Gallery

The visual arts have not gained the stature they have attained in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Doha. The state is much less a driving force than in Abu Dhabi or Doha, and Kuwait cannot compete with Dubai’s free-enterprise, independent-gallery culture. Kuwait is, to a remarkable extent, lagging behind the other richest Gulf States, but several principal members of the ruling family are famous art collectors, including Paula al-Sabah and her daughter Lulu al-Sabah.

Private galleries – including the Sultan Gallery of Farida Sultan, the Contemporary Art Platform of Amer Huneidi, and the Boushahri Gallery of Rana Sadik and Jawad Boushahri – are currently the most active in promoting new contemporary arts.

In the field of Islamic art, Sheikha Hussa and Sheikh Nasser, both also part of the Sabah family, own the renowned Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyya collection. As is the case with the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Kuwait has never itself produced Islamic art of any stature, so the collection comprises artefacts from the historical centres of the Islamic world.

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