Iranian Tar Maestro

Jalil Shahnaz Dies

One of the greatest maestros of classical Persian music and the soloists of tar, Jalil Shahnaz died on June 17, 2013.

Born in Isfahan, he gained praise and attention in 1957, after moving to Tehran where he performed in concerts and on the radio.

Shahnaz was also keen on violin, santur and tonbak.

In 2004, Shahnaz was honored as Iran’s eternal figure in the art and music category. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award the same year.

A funeral was scheduled for Wednesday in Tehran.



The Works of

Mohammadreza Mirzaei

Amistad Gallery is pleased to present “What I Don’t Have”, a series of photographs by Mohammadreza Mirzaei created during his residency in Lugo, Italy in December 2012. Mohammadreza Mirzaei is an MFA candidate at University of Pennsylvania.

Mirzaei is a photographer and writer, whose work has been featured in multiple solo and group exhibitions, including Bienal Fotográfica Bogotá 2011. He is founder and editor of Dide Magazine, an online publication dedicated to contemporary Iranian photography.

“What I Don’t Have” will be on view from March 15th – September 15.



World Press Cartoon Contest

Iranian graphic designer and cartoonist Saeed Sadeqi’s creation has garnered first award of Gag Cartoon category at the World Press Cartoon contest in Portugal.

Sadeqi’s work titled Low Economy picked up the prize during an award ceremony at the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center in Sintra, Portugal.

The winners’ works along with the selected pieces from among the entries have been displayed in an exhibition mounted in the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center.

The exhibition will run until June 30, 2013.



The Cyrus Cylinder

in Los Angeles

For the first time in history, the Cyrus Cylinder, one of the ancient world’s most celebrated artifacts of freedom and human rights, is being brought to the United States for exhibition.

Housed at the British Museum in London, the Cyrus Cylinder will travel to five major U.S. cities in 2013, in a tour supported by the Iran Heritage Foundation.

The Cyrus Cylinder will be accompanied in this exhibition by sixteen objects under the title “The Cyrus Cylinder in Ancient Persia.” The exhibition shows the innovations initiated by Persian rule in the Ancient Near East (550 BC-331 BC), when the Persian Empire was then the largest the world had known.

The tour debuted at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. in March before traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. It will also be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, concluding its journey with an eight week stay at the J. Paul Getty Museum at The Getty Villa in Los Angeles from October 2 – December 2, 2013.

Farhang Foundation is proud to be the financial sponsor and community organization working with the Getty Museum to ensure the success of the Cyrus Cylinder tour in its last and most anticipated stop, Los Angeles, home to the largest Iranian community outside Iran.

On display at the Getty Museum October 2- December 2, 2013.


HRW Film Festival Screens Well-Received Iranian Film

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival screens from June 13 to 23, 2013, with a program of 20 challenging and provocative films from across the globe that call for justice and social change. Now in its 24th edition, the festival brings the story of Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s “Going Up the Stairs” to its screens. Maghami’s story is a charming portrait of a traditional Iranian grandmother who discovers her love of painting late in life and is invited to exhibit her work in Paris.

Akram is an illiterate 50 year old Iranian woman who became a painter unexpectedly when her young grandson asked her to work on a drawing. She finally tells her Western educated children about her work and they arrange for her to have an exhibition in far-off Paris. The only hitch in this plan is that Akram must obtain permission from her husband – who she married when she was 8 and he was in his 30s – in order to attend. Their comfortable bickering covers up Akram’s frustrations and fears that her chance for recognition of her magical talent lays completely in the hands of this conservative and traditional Iranian man.

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival screens in Chicago, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, D.C., Zurich, Dallas, Durham, Merced, Mount Pleasant, Philadelphia, Phoenixville, and Salem.

For screenings and times, visit ff.hrw.org.