Art And Culture

Calligraphy Museum Opens in Tehran

The museum’s collection includes masterpieces of calligraphy on paper, parchments, tiles, potteries, rings, seals and engravings among other forms and materials
Inside the museum
Inside the museum

Calligraphy Museum of Iran was inaugurated August 19 in Tehran at a historical building on Shariati Street.

Tehran Beautification Organization (TBO) started building the museum two years ago. The organization, affiliated to Tehran Municipality, buys historical buildings of architectural and cultural significance to help uphold the identity of the city. The building housing the Calligraphy Museum dates back to 1950’s. It is now repaired and remade into a permanent museum containing a collection of fine calligraphy works.

The collection includes masterpieces of calligraphy on paper, parchments, tiles, potteries, rings, seals and engravings among other forms and materials, Honaronline reported.

“We were fortunate to have the support of artists and enthusiasts who introduced us to valuable calligraphy collections,” Issa Alizadeh, head of TBO said at the inauguration ceremony.

Alizadeh referred to the collection by late master calligrapher Abdollah Fuadi as one of the most prized holdings of the museum.

  Long Way Ahead

“As we approached the opening day, it dawned upon us that it’s just the beginning of a long way … The Calligraphy Museum should become the most important source of research and study on calligraphy,” Alizadeh added.

Before the opening, Qazvin Calligraphy Museum was the only major reference for the art in Iran. Seyed Ahmad Mohit Tabatabai, head of ICOM (International Council of Museums) in Iran, referred to the examples of calligraphy in other museums in Tehran, namely the National Museum and Reza Abbasi Museum, and said: “Inauguration of a calligraphy museum in the capital, particularly in a historical building, is a significant development and demonstrates cultural development.”

A calligraphy master was present at the inauguration ceremony. Karam Ali Shirazi, 36, proficient in the calligraphy schools of ‘Moin Isfahani’ and ‘Qolam Hossein Amirkhani,’ has held many exhibitions in and outside Iran.

Shirazi explained the reason why the new museum made him happy: “On several occasions I received large quantities of top-class calligraphies for evaluation before they were sent abroad.

I had mixed emotions. I was proud because the brilliant works of Iranian artists were being appreciated in other countries. I believe, such works should not be confined within the country; they can serve as cultural envoys. But my other feeling was regret for losing the artistic treasures. I wished the works could have stayed inside the country as treasures of cultural heritage.”

  Collecting Process

About how the present items of the museum were collected, Mohammad Hassan Hamedi, a representative of the museum’s expert council said: “I was tasked with collecting the artworks and I introduced three experts. All three are active calligraphers focused on their fields of work: Mojtaba Malekzadeh, Mohammad Javad Jeddi and Hamid Reza Qlichkhani.

“Calligraphy collectors are not a large community, and very soon all were aware of the project. So we assessed the authenticity of the works, evaluated them and started to buy them. The collectors were flexible and offered discounts. Sometimes we could buy an entire collection which is very important in enriching the museum.”

Calligraphy Museum of Iran is located on Fouladvand Dead-end, southern end of Shariati Street.

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