plc, part of the Abdul Latif Jameel Group, has given the Victoria
& Albert Museum a substantial donation to transform one of its
historic galleries into a fitting home for the Museums superb
collection of Islamic art from the Middle East. The company is also
financing a touring exhibition of the V & As Islamic treasures
to the USA, Japan and the UK.
total value of the gift is £5.4 million, which is one of the
most generous ever received by the V&A. The new gallery will
be named The Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art dedicated to the memory
of Mr Abdul Latif Jameel, the late founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel
Group, and his wife Nafisa. Hartwell plcs headquarters are
in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is a private company beneficially
owned by members of the Jameel family.
Jameel gallery will be among the most beautiful in the Museum and
will house treasures from the V&As collection of more
than 10,000 Islamic objects from the Middle East. These include
such famous pieces as the Ardabil Carpet from 16th-century
Iran, which is not only one of the largest and finest carpets in
existence but also the earliest dated, and an exquisite rock crystal
ewer from 11th-century Egypt.
masterpieces will fill in the story of how Islamic art developed
in the Middle East and beyond from the great days of the Islamic
caliphate in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The displays will encompass
carved ivories from Islamic Spain, superb inlaid metalwork from
medieval Egypt, Iznik ceramics from Ottoman Turkey, tilework from
14th-century Uzbekistan and oil paintings from 19th-century Iran.
touring exhibition of the V&As Islamic treasures is designed
to increase awareness and appreciation of Islamic art. The exhibition
will travel the world while the new gallery is under development
at the V&A, visiting the United States, Japan and finally Sheffield,
before returning to the V&A for the gallerys opening in
Jones, Director of the V&A, said: This is an extremely
generous gift and the V&A is grateful to Hartwell and the Jameel
family. This donation will make it possible for us to provide a
showcase for the achievements of Islamic culture in the new Jameel
Gallery dedicated to the memory of Mr and Mrs Abdul Latif Jameel.
We will be able to do this not just for the British public but for
an international audience. The V&As collections of Islamic
art began to be formed as early as 1848, and they are universally
recognised for their significance and scale.
it was created half a century ago, our present gallery was the most
advanced display of Islamic art in the world, and ever since it
has been instrumental in fostering appreciation of Islamic art as
one of the worlds great cultures. This gift will allow us
to re-present the gallery and use our collections to inspire future
generations and spread a deeper understanding of Islamic culture.
Mohammed Jameel, President and CEO of the Abdul Latif Jameel Group,
whose headquarters are in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is the son of Mr
and Mrs Abdul Latif Jameel. He said: We originally began to
discuss and plan the renovation of the gallery in 2002 and agreed
the principles that year. I am delighted and honoured today to be
able to announce that the V&As new Islamic Gallery will
be dedicated to the memory of my parents. Our family has a keen
interest in world cultures and promoting understanding between them,
and a commitment to increasing understanding of the Islamic world.
It gives us great pleasure to be able to help the V&A display
its superb collection of Islamic treasures in a way that will delight
and educate more people than ever.
V&As Islamic collection from the Middle East covers the
decorative arts ceramics, textiles, carpets, metalwork, glass,
woodwork and much more. It contains many items of exquisite beauty,
and many signed and dated pieces of crucial documentary interest.
The collection is also important in that it covers many areas in
great depth, providing study facilities unequalled elsewhere. It
ranks in scale, size and significance with those of the worlds
other great museums, and in some areas where it is especially strong,
such as ceramics, the V&As holdings can be judged the
most extensive and important of all.
part of a Museum with global interests, the collections highlight
the fruitful interchange between the Islamic world and its neighbours
in Europe and Asia. The collections have inspired generations of
British designers from William Morris to the present day and have
helped shape and inform British design.
current Islamic Gallery is now many decades old. The Museum intends
to show the collections in new ways, using all the benefits of modern
display techniques, and restoring them to the prominence they deserve.
The new gallery will also provide more interpretative material,
exploiting new technologies to allow a far better understanding
of what is on show.
ALJ business was established in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia almost
60 years ago. The head company, ALJ Co. Ltd., was formed in 1980.
Since then it has grown into an internationally diversified group,
with operations in the United Kingdom, Monaco, Morocco, Algeria,
Egypt, Sudan, Syria, China and Japan. Its core businesses are in
the automobile and financial services industries. Other sectors
where the group has significant interests are Hotels, Consumer Electronics,
Real Estate, Media Communication, and a JV Denso air-conditioning
manufacturing operation in Saudi Arabia.
the days of its founder, the late Abdul Latif Jameel, the group
has always had a philosophy of returning to the society in which
it operates a portion of what it has earned. The establishment of
a Rehabilitation Centre in Jeddah, was a significant milestone,
as it signalled the beginning of large scale involvement and leadership
of the ALJ group in the field of social and community work.
recent years, the group has accelerated its activities in this field,
and embarked on arguably the largest community project in Saudi
Arabia, with a fund of USD 30 million dedicated to vocational training
for young Saudis. This includes creating opportunities for them
to become entrepreneurs of small business enterprises, upgrading
and modernising the Red Crescent services, and creating opportunities
for women to learn new skills so they can contribute positively
to the economic progress of the kingdom. This initiative in the
first of its kind, and is setting the standards for others in the
business community to follow.
plc is part of the Abdul Latif Jameel Group. Hartwell has interests
in automotive retailing, investment property and consumer finance
in the United Kingdom. Hartwells headquarters are in Oxford,
United Kingdom. It employs 2600 people in the UK.