Epic Iran, a journey through millennia of Iranian art at London's Victoria & Albert

June 6, 2021

Epic Iran, 5,000 years of Iranian art, culture, and design is now on display at London's Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum. Organized by the V&A in association with the Iran Heritage Foundation and The Sarikhani Collection, the exhibition features treasures from the past and present, highlighting Iran’s rich contribution to world culture.
"It's only quite recently that people are recognizing that Iran has got this wonderful, rich artistic tradition, wonderful cultural heritage stretching back many, many, many years," co-curator John Curtis told Reuters.
Epic Iran brings together more than 300 objects from ancient, Islamic, and contemporary Iran, including manuscripts, ceramics, carpets, textiles, photos, and films. Notable exhibits in the show are ancient relics, the Cyrus Cylinder, and an armlet from the Oxus Treasure as well as a folio from the Shah Tahmasp’s Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
The exhibition is made up of 10 sections that take visitors on a journey through the history of Iran, from 3200 BC to the present day.
The final Modern and Contemporary section of the exhibition covers a period of great social and political change in Iran, featuring works by artists living in the country or abroad; from Sirak Melkonian, Parviz Tanavoli, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, and Bahman Mohasses to younger generation artists such as Farhad Moshiri, Avish Khebrehzadeh, Ali Banisadr, and Shadi Ghadirian.


Photo: Cyrus Cylinder, 539 – 538 BC. © The Trustees of the British Museum
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