The museum's collection of Islamic art encompasses artefacts from the 7th to the 19th centuries and is counted among the most important of its kind in the Western world. The temporary exhibition “Fighting, Hunting, Impressing. Arms and Armour from the Islamic World” sheds light on the different contexts in which these weapons were used. On display are various edged weapons, bows and rifles as well as helmets, mail shirts, shields and even musical instruments.
Meyvaert and JAC Studios designed 21 display cases for this temporary exhibition. 14 wall-standing cases are also modular and demountable, in anticipation of future exhibitions. Though the weapons are inherently associated with violence, the intricate craftsmanship is proof of their aesthetic purpose. JAC Studios extended this duality to their exhibition design. They achieved this by contrasting the straight and sharply defined showcases with a soft fabric that is suspended from the ceilings and walls. The exterior of the cases is constructed from thick, hot rolled sheets of steel finished with a blueing treatment, giving the surface a subtle natural patina. To ensure that this finish fully matched the desired effect of JAC Studios’ design intent, we first tested the treatment on samples. To meet the stringent security requirements, Meyvaert equipped the cases with special P8B glass and high security steel frames. One of the demountable cases is a large freestanding case which has P8B glass on all sides and the same type of frames. We also provided the museum with 6 wall hanging cases that have lift-off or side hinged glass hoods, and with one table case that has a lift-off glass hood.
Even during the pandemic, Meyvaert managed to supply the showcases within 5 months while fully matching the design intent and attaining the high security and quality standards. This outcome was achieved thanks to the close collaboration of the dedicated teams of Meyvaert and the museum.
The David Collection
21 bespoke cases
Photos: Pernille Klemp