Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art | The largest art museum in Iran
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is the largest art museum in Iran. This museum, which was built by order of Empress Farah and only one year before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, is one of the most popular sights in Tehran for domestic and foreign tourists and art lovers.
History of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
In October 1977, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran was built in the western corner of Laleh Park. The proposal to construct this museum was sent to the office of Empress Farah Pahlavi by Kamran Diba, an Iranian architect, and Queen Farah’s cousin. Since the Queen of Iran was working on the artistic development of the country and the preservation of works of art, after consulting with the Shah and Amir Abbas Hoveida (then Prime Minister of Iran), she donated the capital for the construction of this museum, estimated at $ 7.2m, to the Diba Architecture Team. Finally, in 1977, the construction was completed on a land area of 5,000 square meters.
On October 13, Farah Pahlavi’s 39th birthday, the museum was inaugurated with special guests such as Mohammad Reza and Farah Pahlavi himself, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, Vice President of the United States, and Thomas Messer, Director of the Guggenheim Museum.
Valuable works of the Museum of Contemporary Art
The museum’s permanent treasury holds more than 3,000 valuable works by the visual arts elite. Near 400 of them are of exceptional value. Among the magnificent works of the museum, we can mention the outstanding pieces of Gauguin, Renoir, Picasso, Magritte, Ernest, Pollack, Warhol, Levitt, and Giacometti. The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art also owns a comprehensive collection of modern and contemporary Iranian art.
The architecture of the main building
The main building of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the examples of modern architecture in Iran. In this structure, Diba used traditional Iranian architecture with modern elements of European American architecture like the works of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The museum building is made of stone and concrete and has a total area of 8500 square meters (along with the surrounding gardens) took 9 years to build.
The exterior architecture of the museum is inspired by Iranian windcatchers. Skylights took from desert windcatchers play the role of directing light from outside to inside the complex.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art after the Islamic Revolution
After the Islamic Revolution, despite the efforts of fanatic revolutionaries to change the use of the museum, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art was operating behind closed doors until it reopened after the change of management. In 15 years after the revolution, the museum had about 15 directors and changed its tendency to display works of modern art, such as ideological art serving political propaganda. These Museum directors were appointed by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance during this period, and most had no education or artistic background.
But, in the mid-1990s, the museum policies changed back to their original form and artists who had been shadowed by government institutions after the revolution exhibited their work in the museum’s exhibitions. In recent years, however, the museum’s professional activities have weakened again, but it still welcomes those interested in contemporary art.
When to visit?
You can visit this museum on all days of the year, except for national holidays, by purchasing tickets. Note that the Museum of Contemporary Art has nine galleries and on the museum grounds you can see works of art and sculptures by artists from around the world. So, keep in mind that you have enough time to visit this museum.
* Written by Mahsa Ashouri.
|Official Website: N/A||Entrance fee: 200.000 IRR|
|Wikipedia: Click here||موزه ی هنرهای معاصر تهران : Name(s) in Persian|
|UNESCO Website: N/A||Public transportation availability: Yes|
|Province: Tehran|| Accommodation availability: Yes|
|Phone: N/A||Facilities: Yes|
|Working days: All days||Restaurant & Cafe availability: Yes|
|Opening hours: 9:00 AM-5:45 PM||Best time to visit: All Seasons|