The Iranology Exhibitions Complex

By: Sepideh Jafari Manesh



The Iranology Exhibitions Complex, affiliated with and located in the Iranology Foundation, consists of seven non-specialized and specialized exhibitions, as introduced below:

The permanent Exhibition of Nature of Iran provides information about the various characteristics and manifestations of Iran’s nature. One of the distinctive features of the natural geography of this country is its climatic variety, which has resulted in the development of different geographical regions with different natural views and a great variety of animal and plant species. In this exhibition, it is tried to familiarize visitors with Iran’s ancient and present natures, its most distinctive floral and faunal phenomena, its disappearing animals and plants, the four seasons in its various regions, and its natural and geographical phenomena through pictures, films, and web pages.

The permanent Exhibition of People of Iran provides the required data about people’s presence in the context of their daily life and work environment through pictures, films, maquettes, and other realia. In the Exhibition, visitors are witness to a selection of the traditions, celebrations, mourning ceremonies, religious rituals, and local games of the people living in different regions of Iran as well as to some of their shared customs such as setting Sofreh-ye Haft Seen, Sofreh-ye Nazri, and Sofreh-ye Shab-e Yalda. The variety of the designs and colors of the displayed local costumes of diverse Iranian ethnic groups also familiarizes the visitors with the different angles of the lifestyles of the people of this vast land.

The permanent Exhibition of Culture has opened a window to the ancient culture and eventful history of Iran by displaying a collection of pictures and explanations related to Iranian architecture and buildings, different urban and rural residential places, samples of the architecture of religious places, accounts of the history of Iran based on the remaining buildings of each historical period, pictures and biographies of great Iranian figures and Iranologists, etc. One of the distinctive features of this Exhibition is introducing some of the Iranian handicrafts by displaying samples of loom weaving, paintings, pottery, mosaic, etc. produced by the artists of this country. Evidently, presenting the cultural and social variety of this land in an exhibition complex is a very difficult undertaking. However, the Exhibition of Culture was established to accomplish this task in the best way possible.

The permanent Literature Exhibition was established with the purpose of familiarizing people with the ancient Persian literary heritage and Iranian literary figures. To this end, some prose and verse works of prominent Iranian poets and writers are on display in an artistic fashion on the walls and middle columns of the Exhibition Hall. A selection of each figure’s biography is also on display in the designated place beside a collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts related to literature. Moreover, in order to further familiarize interested visitors with the subject of Iranology for Children and Adolescents, some programs such as "Iranology Interlude" have been planned for this age group. In this way, children and adolescents will be introduced to some concepts in the field of Iranology.

The permanent Exhibition of Coffee-House and ‘Ashura Paintings, as a specialized sub-part of the Iranology Exhibitions Complex, contains about 100 historical and recent paintings on national, religious, and ‘Ashura’i themes. These paintings have been created in the Coffee-House and iconic styles using different techniques of oil color, water color, pencil drawing, lithography, and technical pen or rapidograph. In this collection, there are a number of valuable historical works including a 12th century (AH) painting. Moreover, some of the works of Master Vafaei which have been designed based on the 12 stanzas of a poem by Mohtasham Kashani are on display to the public in this Hall.

The permanent Exhibition of Calligraphy and Documents, a specialized sub-part of the Iranology Exhibitions, includes a collection of documents, calligraphy painting, manuscript books, and lithography and typography books. The existing documents consist of more than 110 hand-written documents related to the 13th and 14th centuries (AH), 85 pages of which have been repaired so far. This collection contains 60 manuscript books, 360 lithographed books, and about 100 typographed books. Moreover, two sections related to the main theme of the Exhibition display 36 calligraphy paintings created by the well-known contemporary calligraphers’ of the country and a complete collection of the equipment used in the moveable system of printing and typography.

The permanent Exhibition of the Historical Maps of the Persian Gulf, one of the specialized sub-parts of the Iranology Exhibitions, contains 50 historical maps which demonstrate and emphasize the originality of the name of the Persian Gulf. The maps of this Exhibition have been drawn by Muslim and European cartographers of different periods. They include the world map, the map of the southwest of Asia, the map of the Near East and Europe, the map of the Empire of Macedonian Alexander, the map of the Achaemenid Empire, the map of the Arcasid Empire, the map of Iran during the Safavid Era, the map of Iran during the Ghajar Era, the map of Jazirat al-Arab (the Arabian peninsula), the map of Saudi Arabia, and the maps of some more limited areas such as the maps of Fars, Khuzestan, and Kerman provinces, the map of Gombroon (the strait of Hormuz), and finally some maps of the Persian Gulf drawn by Muslim and European cartographers.

Visit Guidelines of the Exhibitions of the Iranology Foundation

  • 1. The Iranology Exhibition Complex is open every day from Saturday to Wednesday from 9.00 am – 11.00 am.
  • 2. Independent visitors can visit the exhibition by buying the ticket from the ticket office in the Iranology Foundation.
  • 3. Prior to their visit and in order to make their appointment and receive the tour permit, Schools, organizations, and other centers are required to send their request in the written form to the Head of the Public Relations Department of the Iranology Foundation after contacting this Department at the following phone number: 0098-21-88212008. The request must be sent one week before the intended date of visit. The visit date, the number of visitors, the names of the halls to be visited, and a contact phone number must be indicated in the request letter to make the necessary arrangements.
  • 4. In case the visit is cancelled, a cancellation request letter must be faxed to the Public Relations Department of the Foundation 24 hours prior to the visit.
  • 5. Each hall can accommodate student tours of maximum 40 members. Larger groups need to officially introduce a chaperone for each extra 20 students.
  • 6. The visiting time of each hall is about 20-30 minutes.
  • 7. Food or drink is not permitted in the Exhibition.
  • 8. Photography and filming are not permitted in any of the halls.
  • 9. All visitors should observe the Islamic dress code and norms of behavior.
  • 10. Because of their specialized nature, the Exhibitions of Calligraphy and Documents, Historical maps of the Persian Gulf, and Coffee House and Ashura Paintings are not open to primary school students.
  • 11. Showing films in relation to Iranological topics is allowed in the Community Hall of the Foundation through making prior arrangements with the Complex authorities.
  • 12. The entrance fees for visitors are as follows:
    • • State school students: 25,000 rials
    • • Private School students: 40,000 rials
    • • Others: 50,000 rials

    The fee must be deposited to account number 0106257127004 in the name of the Iranology Foundation at Melli Bank (Sheykh Baha’i Branch, code: 1703). A copy of the receipt must be faxed to the following number. 0098-21-88212008.

  • 13. On special occasions such as the Ten-Day Fajr, the Research Week, the Book and Book Reading Week, the National Day of Museums, Students’ Day, the National Day of the Persian Gulf, Teachers’ Day, and the Day of Children and Adolescents’ literature, there is a discount in the fees of visiting the Iranology Exhibitions Complex. Prior arrangement with the Public Relations Department is required in this regard.
  • 14. The Exhibitions are open to the following age groups:
    • • Exhibition of People: Open to visitors of all age groups
    • • Exhibition of Nature: Open to visitors of all age groups
    • • Exhibition of Culture: Open to visitors of all age groups
    • • Exhibition of Literature: Open to visitors of all age groups
    • • Exhibition of Coffee House and Ashura Paintings: Open to adult visitors and high school students
    • • Exhibition of Calligraphy and Documents: Open to adult visitors and high school students
    • • Exhibition of the Historical Maps of the Persian Gulf: Open to adult visitors and high school students