January 2, 2018
The Toronto-based Aga Khan Museum has launched an exhibition of Persian art in Qajar era. The exhibition brings together rare paintings, lacquerware, lithographed manuscripts, photographs, musical instruments, and textiles from a host of prominent international and national collections.
The Qajar dynasty ruled Persia (Iran) from 1794 to 1925. According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica “The Qajar period is now increasingly recognized as a time of significant change in Persian society. Perhaps the most obvious influence was the impact of Western ideas and technology, which accompanied the diplomats, military and technical advisers, merchants, travelers, and missionaries who flocked into 19th-century Persia. Qajar art, which reflects such influences, has been treated with scant sympathy.”
This exhibition features masterpieces from the Aga Khan Museum collection alongside a large number of exhibits on loan from the Louvre Museum and other institutions, including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Textile Museum of Canada, McGill University Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, and private collections.
The exhibition entitled “Transforming Traditions: The Arts of 19th-Century Iran” is curated by Ulrike Al-Khamis, Director of Collections and Public Programs and Bita Pourvash, Assistant Curator, both of the Aga Khan Museum.
Established in 2014, the museum is an initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. The AKM holds one of the largest collections of post-Islamic Persian art in Canada, a major part of which are on display at its permanent galleries.