© Khalili Family Trust © Khalili Family Trust

This item has been added to the Database within the Explore Islamic Art Collections project. Information is available in: English, Arabic.

Name of Object:

Pop-up view of the Masjid al-Haram


London, United Kingdom

Holding Museum:

Khalili Family Trust – Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Collection

About Khalili Family Trust – Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Collection, London

Date of Object:


Museum Inventory Number:

ARC.mx 238

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Printed paper


Closed: 32.3x23cm; open: 32.3x45.7; height: 14.3cm




This pop-up view of Mecca was illustrated by Vojtěch Kubašta and published by Artia in Prague. Vojtěch Kubašta was born in Vienna in 1914 and spent much of his life working as an illustrator, creating children’s books and cards. Having studied architecture but unable to practice during the war, his knowledge of structure is evident particularly in this pop-up view of Mecca. The view made in 1955 illustrates the haram with pilgrims and the Kaˋba at its centre, surrounded by buildings which were removed after the 1960s, for example, the Bani Shayba gate and the building which dispensed Zamzam water. The depiction is very accurate, which suggests that it was likely to have been copied from a photograph. The gateways into the mosque are all labelled and small details such as the roof of the Kaˋba have not been left out. The cover illustrates a man with his hand on the Black Stone and six views on the back include photographs of the main sites of Hajj (e.g. Mina, the Jamarat and Muzdalifa). Artia also published a series of Kubašta’s works in Farsi for the Iranian market.

How date and origin were established:

Vojtěch Kubašta's own privately printed bibliography lists the date of this view as 1955.

Selected bibliography:

Rubin, E., Pop-Ups, Illustrated Books, and Graphic Designs of Czech Artist and Paper Engineer, Vojtech Kubasta (1914-1992), Fort Lauderdale, FL: Bienes Center for the Literary Arts, 2005.

Citation of this web page:

Qaisra Khan "Pop-up view of the Masjid al-Haram" in Explore Islamic Art Collections. Museum With No Frontiers, 2024. https://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;EPM;uk;Mus22;9;en

Prepared by: Qaisra Khan

MWNF Working Number: UK2 09


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