All Collections

Empire of the Sultans: Ottoman Art from the Khalili Collection

An exhibition at venues in Switzerland, the UK, Israel, and the USA
1995 – 2004
Curators: Prof. J. M. Rogers and Nahla Nassar


Musée Rath, Geneva,
July – September 1995
Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies
July – October 1996
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
December 1996 – June 1997
Detroit Institute of Arts
July – October 2000
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, New Mexico
October 2000 – January 2001
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon
27 January – 8 April 2001
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, California
August – October 2001
Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, Greenwich, Connecticut
October 2001 – January 2002
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
February – April 2002
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina
May – July 2002
Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
August 2002 – January 2003
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
20 February – 27 April 2003
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee
May – August 2003
Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia
August – November 2003
Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
28 November 2003 – 8 February 2004

Selected Exhibits

War Mask

MTW 1390

Calligraphic Composition

CAL 165

Flintlock Pistol

MTW 1162

Two Folios from the Siyer-i Nebi

MSS 152.1, MSS 152.2

Central Section of a Banner

TXT 36

Exhibition Catalogues


“[W]e are treated to an admirably concise but wide-ranging and, in many respects, ground-breaking overview of Ottoman art and culture. All its exhibits are drawn from the vast collection of Islamic art amassed by Nasser D. Khalili. […] Certainly, no other single collection outside Istanbul has the range of material to mount such an ambitious survey.”

Susan Moore, The Financial Times, 22 July 1995

“This elegant, dazzling and fascinating show is a must-see for those who want clarity in these troubling times. [...] This serenely gorgeous show grows in scope and drama as you contemplate the sort of extraordinary riches - both temporal and spiritual - that have vied for the human soul throughout history.”

Kevin Lynch, The Capital Times, 27 March 2002

“Empire of the Sultans, the understated and gracious exhibition at the new Brunei Gallery in London, is a challenge to the west, an unapologetic presentation of Ottoman culture in its own terms. […] It is an unmissable exhibition.”

Phil Baker, New Statesman, 26 July 1996

“A magnificent blend of art and science as well as military and cultural history is on display in the ‘Empire of the Sultans, Ottoman Art from the Khalili Collection’ exhibition [...] the show may require more than one trip to appreciate its wonders.”

John Brandenburg, The Oklahoman, 7 March 2003