Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, (Persian: موزه هنرهای معاصر تهران), also known as TMoCA, is among the largest art museums in Tehran and Iran. It has collections of more than 3,000 items that include 19th and 20th century's world-class European and American paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures. TMoCA also has one of the greatest collections of Iranian modern and contemporary art.

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
موزه هنرهای معاصر تهران
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is located in Tehran
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Location within Tehran
Established1977; 46 years ago (1977)
LocationLaleh Park
Coordinates35°42′41″N 51°23′26″E / 35.71139°N 51.39056°E / 35.71139; 51.39056
TypeArt museum
DirectorEbad Reza Eslami[citation needed]
CuratorDavid Galloway, Kamran Diba[citation needed]
ArchitectKamran Diba
Garden of Sculptures, near the museum

The museum was inaugurated by Empress Farah Pahlavi in 1977, just two years before the 1979 Revolution.[1] TMoCA is considered to have the most valuable collections of modern Western masterpieces outside Europe and North America.[2]

Background Edit

According to Farah Pahlavi, the former Empress of Iran, the idea for this museum happened when she was in conversation with artist Iran Darroudi during a gallery opening in the 1970s and Darroudi mentioned she wished there was a place to show work more permanently.[3] The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art museum was supposed to be a place to show contemporary and modern Iranian artist alongside other international artists doing similar work.[3]

The museum was designed by Iranian architect and cousin of the queen, Kamran Diba, who employed elements from traditional Persian architecture.[4] It was built adjacent to Laleh Park, Tehran, and was inaugurated in 1977.[5] The building itself can be regarded as an example of contemporary art, in a style of an underground New York Guggenheim Museum.[6] Most of the museum area is located underground with a circular walkway that spirals downwards with galleries branching outwards.[6] Western sculptures by artists such as Ernst, Giacometti, Magritte and Moore can be found in the museum's gardens.[6]

The selection of the art was done under Farah Pahlavi and the budget was from the National Iranian Oil Company.[3] Pahlavi personally met many of the artists whose work was part of the museum collection, including the Western artists Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Henry Moore, Paul Jenkins, Arnaldo Pomodoro.[3] Some people involved in the process of selecting art were the Americans, Donna Stein and David Galloway, and Kamran Diba, the architect and director of the museum, and Karimpasha Bahadori, who was the Chief of Staff of the cabinet.[3][7]

After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Western art was stored away in the museums vault until 1999 when the first post-revolution exhibition was held of western art showing artists such as David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol.[6] Now pieces of the Western art collection are shown for a few weeks every year but due to the current conservative nature of the Iranian establishment, most pieces will never be shown.[6]

It is considered to have the most valuable collection of Western modern art outside Europe and the United States, a collection largely assembled by founding curators David Galloway and Donna Stein under the patronage of Farah Pahlavi.[8][9] It is said that there is approximately £2.5 billion worth of modern art held at the museum.[10] The museum hosts a revolving program of exhibitions and occasionally organizes exhibitions by local artists.

Politics Edit

In 1977, the Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi, purchased expensive Western artwork, in order to open this contemporary art museum. This museum was a controversial act, because the country's social and economic inequalities were rising and the government at the time was acting as a dictatorship and not tolerating the rising opponents, a few years later the Iranian Revolution took place. A few art pieces did not survive the revolution including a public statue by Bahman Mohasses deemed un-Islamic and a 1977 Warhol painting, a portrait of Farah Pahlavi.[3]

Le Monde art critic André Fermigier wrote an article in 1977 called "A museum for whom and for what?", "questioning the link between an Iranian child and a Picasso or a Pollock".[11] And Farah Pahlavi responded to this criticism, noting that Iranians can understand modern art, not all Iranians were living in remote villages, and this issue with modern art was not unlike one that had existed in France.[11]

A touring exhibitions was planned for autumn 2016 in Berlin, (Germany), consisting of a three-month tour of sixty artworks, half Western and half Iranian. The show was to run for three months in Berlin, then travel to the Maxxi Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome for display from March through August.[12] However, the plan has been indefinitely postponed because the Iranian authorities have failed to allow the paintings to leave the country, also noting after the revolution these painting have not yet been shown in Iran.[13][14]

Collection curator Donna Stein wrote a memoir, The Empress and I: How an Ancient Empire Collected, Rejected and Rediscovered Modern Art (2021), because she felt she was not properly credited for her role in curating this collection.[7]

Permanent collection Edit

Still Life with Head-Shaped Vase and Japanese Woodcut by Paul Gauguin
Lautrec girl with lovelock by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
At Eternity's Gate by Vincent van Gogh, lithograph, 1882, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

This is a list of artists featured in the permanent collection at Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art: The Crown Jewel, The Harpers Bazaar Arabia
  2. ^ Iran Has Been Hiding One of the World’s Great Collections of Modern Art, Bloomberg
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (1 August 2012). "Former queen of Iran on assembling Tehran's art collection". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Dehghan, Saeed Kamali (1 August 2012). "Tehran exhibition reveals city's hidden Warhol and Hockney treasures". the Guardian. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  5. ^ Kaur, Raminder; Dave-Mukherji, Parul (2015). Arts and Aesthetics in a Globalizing World. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 304. ISBN 9780857855473.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Waldman, Peter; Motevalli, Golnar (23 November 2015). "The Greatest Museum Never Known". Bloomberg Businessweek. pp. 50–55.
  7. ^ a b Sciolino, Elaine (29 March 2021). "Hired by the Empress of Art at Tehran's Hidden Museum". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  8. ^ Dehghan, Saeed Kamali. "Former queen of Iran on assembling Tehran's art collection." The Guardian. 1 August 2012: Print.
  9. ^ Iran Keeps Picassos in basement. LA Times. Kim Murphy. 19 September 2007.
  10. ^ "The art no one sees: Tehran's basement masterpieces". TheGuardian.com. 29 October 2007.
  11. ^ a b Vassigh, Alidad. "Seeing Warhol in Tehran? The Saga of Iran's Modern Art Museum". Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  12. ^ Nayeri, Farah (28 December 2016). "Berlin Cancels Rare Show of Modern Art from Tehran Museum". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  13. ^ Dehghan, Kate Connolly Saeed Kamali (25 November 2016). "Iran pulls the plug on Tehran art exhibition in Berlin". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  14. ^ Ayed, Nahlah; Jenzer, Stephanie (7 March 2017). "Why 99% of visiting foreign dignitaries ask to see inside a vault in Iran". CBC News. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  15. ^ Union, Ajax (5 August 2012). "Exclusive: Secret Iranian Art Collection Features Work from Iconic Israeli Artist Yaacov Agam". Algemeiner.com. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  16. ^ ارزش 2.5میلیارد دلاری گنجینه خارجی موزه هنرهای معاصرتهران+عکس (in Persian) Archived 23 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Max Ernst, Capricorn Archived 16 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  18. ^ "Paul Gauguin". Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  19. ^ Alberto Giacometti, Standing Woman Archived 4 February 2013 at archive.today, tmoca.com.
  20. ^ Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man 1 Archived 16 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  21. ^ René Magritte, The Therapeutae Archived 21 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  22. ^ "نام اثر: اسب و سوارکار". Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  23. ^ Henry Moore, Two–Pieces Reclining Figure Archived 21 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  24. ^ Henry Moore, Three–Pieces Reclining Figure Archived 21 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  25. ^ Olsen, Kelly (2 May 2012). "Jackson Pollock's Splashes of Paint From Iran". WSJ. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  26. ^ Kim Murphy (19 September 2007). "Picasso is hiding in Iran". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  27. ^ Parviz Tanavoli, Sanctified 1 Archived 16 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine, tmoca.com.
  28. ^ "At Eternity's Gate", vggallery.com. Last Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Masterpiece Basement". T Magazine. The New York Times. 2 December 2007. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)

External links Edit