(Persia Digest) – It was only a few months ago that a museum was dedicated to an Iranian woman artist for the first time at the Golestan Gardens in Tehran. The museum displaying the works of acclaimed artist, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmanian, is run by the University of Tehran.
The 93-year old artist has spent the past forty years creating works of art which are a combination of modern art with mirrorwork, Islamic geometric designs, motifs, and painting on glass.
On 15 December 2017, smithsonianmag.com wrote an article on her, excerpts of which you can read here:
“The Monir Museum located in a former palace in Tehran, is the first museum in Iran to be devoted to a female artist. The museum, which is run by the University of Tehran, includes 50 works from the artist. Farmanfarmaian, who has had a complicated relationship with the politics of her native land but a deep love for its culture, says she sees the museum as her final legacy in an interview with Cornwell: ‘I can leave this country with a representation of my life’s work,” she says. “My love for my culture is in everything I create.’”
“Farmanfarmaian may not be a household name in the United States, but she is an art superstar in the Middle East. The artist, born in the Iranian city of Qazvin, studied at the Fine Arts College of Tehran before moving to New York in 1945. She graduated from the Parsons School of Design in 1949, and from there found work as a commercial illustrator.”
“In 1957, she returned to Iran and plunged into the study of traditional art forms. Less than a decade later, during a visit to the glittering Shah Cheragh mosque in Shiraz in 1966, Farmanfarmaian had an epiphany. As Natasha Morris at the Guardian reports, she likened the experience to “walking into a diamond at the centre of the sun.” That visit, where she took in the high-domed mosque, helped crystallize her artistic vision. From that point forward, she began creating more elaborate and creative mirror mosaics and sculptures at her workshop, which employed a staff of highly skilled local craftsman. However, because of the lack of access to traditional materials and craftsmen in the United States, she did few of her mosaics and focused instead on creating works on paper.”
“In 2015, she received her first retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and earlier this year had an exhibition at the Chrysler Museum. ‘“It is an honor for Monir to be recognized in her country of origin with the establishment of this new institution,’ a spokesperson for The Third Line tells Cornwell. ‘It is unprecedented in Iran.’”
“This is not the only extraordinary woman that Iran has acknowledged recently. Maryam Mirzakhani can also be named as the only woman to win the Fields Medal in mathematics. She died of cancer in July 2017.”