Art And Culture

Qajar History, Art on Display at Harvard Museum

Qajar History, Art on Display at Harvard Museum
Qajar History, Art on Display at Harvard Museum

An important period in Iran’s political, social and artistic history is currently being explored and understood at the Harvard Art Museum.

‘Technologies of the Image: Art in 19th Century Iran’ is an exclusive art show exploring the Qajar era in Iran. Running until early January 2018, the exhibition will take place at the museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the New York-based Louise Blouin Media Art Magazine and Publication wrote on its website.

Nineteenth century Iran is marked as an age of intense image creation. With the unfolding of the new century, the new Qajar dynasty sought unification of the country that was torn apart by decades of civil strife. It was at this time that the intrusion of the outside world on Iranian affairs began to widen.

The expansionist policies and ambitions and technological advances of European powers brought westerners to Iran and later drew Iranians to the West. The unusual developments in Iran and the exposure of Iranians to the outside world stimulated and challenged the inventive genius of Persian artists. They mastered new image-making technologies and assimilated an inrush of pictorial material from abroad into their traditional art forms.

‘Technologies of the Image’ brings together four principal art forms of 19th century Iran — lacquer, lithography, photography and works on paper. The exhibition aims to explore the separate and intertwined histories of these art forms, the contexts of production, and means of distribution across the various strata of society.

The exhibition has on show almost 80 artworks, most of which have never been exhibited before. It includes illustrated books, album folios, pen boxes, mirror cases, single-sheet painted and printed images and photographs. Several of the objects are on loan from collections within Harvard University and other private and public collections in the US and abroad.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints