Art And Culture

Mokarrameh Ghanbari’s House Museum Awaits Restoration

Due to the storm in September, some of the paintings at the museum have become damp and should be restored. But as the provincial ICHHTO office is facing budgetary constraints, the restoration is not possible yet
Mokarrameh Ghanbari and her worksMokarrameh Ghanbari and her works

The House Museum of Mokarrameh Ghanbari (1928-2005), the famous self-taught painter, which was damaged after a storm in September, is waiting for funds to be repaired. If that does not happen soon, the museum may have to be closed temporarily.

Speaking to ISNA, Ghanbari’s son Ali Bolboli said the roof of the museum was destroyed in the storm and some of the paintings had also become damp and moist and have to be restored.

Born in Darikhaneh village in the northern Mazandaran Province, Mokarrameh began painting at the age of 63 in 1991, and within a few years her artworks were noticed by painters in Iran and internationally.

She died at the age of 77 and was buried in the courtyard of her house. After her death, her house was registered as a museum by the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) to preserve her artworks.

“The roof damage has been temporarily repaired by the Mazandaran office of the ICHHTO; however, since it is a gable roof, there is still the danger of it collapsing. As the museum still has visitors, the situation should be taken care of soon,” stressed Bolboli.

Regarding the damages to the paintings, they should be restored by an expert but the provincial ICHHTO office has budgetary constraints, and therefore the restoration is not possible yet, he said.

“If the ICHHTO does not help, I may have to shut down the museum for some time. The house museum is not in good condition,” Bolboli noted.

Despite her great talent, Mokarrameh never received any formal training in painting. She used bright, original colors inspired by the beautiful natural surroundings of her neighborhood as well as her memories and dreams in her art.

For the first time in 1995, her paintings were exhibited at Tehran’s Seyhun Gallery, with follow-on exhibits in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2005.

Her works have been compared with the paintings of Russian-born French surrealist Marc Chagall (1887-1985). They have been exhibited at over 40 exhibitions in Iran and other countries including Bowers Museum in California.

‘Mokarrameh - Dreams and Memories’ is the name of a 2002 documentary regarding her life and works, directed by well-known Iranian director, Ebrahim Mokhtari. It has been screened at several international festivals.


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