National Art Museum in Tehran

A hidden gem in downtown Tehran, National Art Museum

Do you want to visit one of the oldest museums in Tehran? Even older than the now more famous National Museum of Iran and you probably have never heard of it?

Well, then a visit to the Iranian National Art Museum in downtown Tehran is what is called for. Often overlooked, this institution houses some of the most interesting relics of previous eras, including some amazing architectural features in the building itself. Moreover, the artworks were part of the early 20th century Persian revival movement, where artists and writers looked back at national identities and motifs.

A building with beautiful indoor round pools that was a section of the Negarestan Garden Palace built in the early 19th century, turned into a museum in 1930 under the supervision of Iranian carpet designer, painter, and artist Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad. The designer, artist and general creative director has been acknowledged as one of the crucial artists of the early 20th century. The name of the building dates back to the garden it was built in.

Behzad’s work

“In this work, Behzad surpassed the conventional vertical composition of pioneers, which was consistent with bookbinding techniques, to replace it with a horizontal composition. In fact, this new composition emerged when Persian painting was seen outside books as a separate form of art. This was a fundamental evolution that offered a new definition of painting, and Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad played a historic role in this process,” Tehran Auction said about his work.

More than 271 types of arts covering painting, Persian miniature, illuminated miniature, ‘Zari work’, carpet weaving, wood inlaying (Khatam-Kari), ceramics, marquetry, word carving, fretwork and finally delicate silver and gold filigrees have found their place in this museum.

Inside the National Art Museum, until half a century ago, there was a large circular pool of marble between the columns, and water was gushing into the pool from the heart of these columns, which created a beautiful scene.

Why not check out other museums in Tehran? There are several great museums across the capital which Living in Tehran has covered over the past few years!

All the art pieces belong to renowned Iranian artists and painters of the last two centuries. The cross shaped building has a magnificent blue dome solidified by stone pillars which is of its era.

The Iranian National Art Museum is located in the yard of Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

It’s absolutely one of the must see in Tehran. You can find best piece of Iranian art in each category. Super fine, artistic, and creative. I must mention staff as well, they well educated, professional, and helpful, Arash writes.

How to get to the National Art Museum of Iran?

To reach this location, you should take Line 2 of Tehran Metro and hop off at Baharestan Station, home of the Iranian parliament complex! Walk 50 meters and there it is: the entrance into a cosy, small but precious museum of national arts many people often walk past without acknowledge.

 

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