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Art History And The Nation: Arthur Upham Pope And The Discourse On "Persian Art" In The Early Twentieth Century

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Chapter Summary

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the discourse on Persian art was situated simultaneously in the academies and museums of Europe and America and in the Iranian Parliament, sites that were intricately connected to each other. Thus it is necessary to analyze together the political, the economic, and the aesthetic meaning of Persian art in both Western and Iranian contexts. This chapter discusses these complex relationships through a study of select projects sponsored by the nationalist Society for National Heritage, an institution established for the preservation of the Iranian heritage. It focuses on two important academic and cultural events that took place in London in 1931, namely, the International Exhibition of Persian Art at Burlington House and the Second International Congress for Persian Art and Archeology. These events were followed by publication in 1938-39 of A Survey of Persian Art, edited by Arthur Upham Pope and Phyllis Ackerman.

Keywords: Arthur Upham Pope; Burlington House; Iranian heritage; Iranian Parliament; Persian art; Phyllis Ackerman



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