Art And Culture

Qajar, Pahlavi Era Photos on Display

Poster of the exhibitPoster of the exhibit

Iran Photo Museum in Tehran is showing historical photographs from the Qajar (1785-1925) and Pahlavi (1925-1979) eras.

The exhibition ‘An Account of the Past’ (in Persian: Revayat-e-Gozashteh’) opened on March 15 and will run through April 20 at Iran Photo Museum located on Bahar-e-Shiraz Street, east of 7-Tir Square.

An Account of the Past features 24 photos taken by a number of celebrated figures including the former ruler of Iran Naser al-Din Shah of the Qajar Dynasty (1831-1896), according to the website of the museum, Naser al-Din Shah took special interest in photography and many buildings and events were pictured during his rule.

Some of the photos are by Abdollah Mirza Qajar (1850-1909), son of Jahangir Mirza Qajar, a member of the then ruling family in Iran. He studied and later taught at Dar-al-Funun, a famed polytechnic school in Tehran, during the reign of Nasir al-Din Shah. Around 1878 he went to study in Paris, then in Vienna, followed by three years in Salzburg.

After he returned to Tehran, Abdollah Mirza worked on printing maps of Ahvaz and other towns, which he presented to the royal court. Then he shifted to photography.

His first works as a photographer in the Qajar court go back to 1883. A few years later he traveled to Khorasan and then to Rey and Qom to photograph new buildings being constructed there. He also undertook assignments in Tabriz, Kermanshah, Mashhad, and Kashan.

During his years as a court photographer, Abdollah Mirza also took pictures at Dar-al-Funun of the students in uniform and of other subjects. He continued to work under king Mozaffar al-Din Shah (reign 1896-1907). During his lifetime Abdollah Mirza was regarded as an accomplished photographer.

Mirza Ebrahim Khan Akkas Bashi (1874-1915) is another photographer of the Qajar era whose photos are on display. He was the royal photographer of Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar (1853-1907), the fifth Qajar king. Akkas Bashi (literally meaning photographer) happened to be the first Iranian film maker.

Also included in the exhibit are some photos by photographer Antoin Sevruguin (1830-1933). He was born into a Russian family of Armenian-Georgian origin. After his father died, Sevruguin gave up painting and took up photography to support his family. His brothers helped him set up a studio in Tehran on today’s Ferdowsi Street.

At the museum one can also find some photos by Mehdi Ivanov known as Roussie Khan (1875-1967) who ran a photography studio in Tehran. He played a significant role in promoting cinema in Iran.

Other featured photographers include Mirza Hassan Monshi, Mohammad Rahim Akkas Bashi, Doust Mohammad Khan Moayer-ol-Mamalek and Mashallah Khan.

The exhibition is open on all days except Fridays. Visiting hours are from 9 am-6 pm, and on Thursdays 9 am-1 pm.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints