By Nazanine Nouri

Iran’s rich artistic and cultural heritage will be in the spotlight at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio from late April to late July, when more than 100 works spanning the period from the 6th to the 19th centuries will be displayed in the exhibition “Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands.”

The works will be drawn from the collection of Hossein Afshar.

“It is a privilege to bring this exhibition to our audiences at the Toledo Museum of Art and to share this vital part of the world with them,” said Diane Wright, the Museum’s senior curator of glass and contemporary craft. “These artists were using a diverse range of materials such as clay, metal, silk and wood in intricate and incredible ways that are a marvel to observe.”

The exhibition will showcase everything from textiles, manuscripts, ceramics, paintings, and metalwork to scientific instruments, woodwork and jeweled objects, illustrating the range and the inventiveness of Persian art.

Highlights will include exquisite miniature paintings from the celebrated epic poet Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Book of Kings); rare Quran pages; a selection of historically significant ceramics; and a monumental silk carpet from the Safavid period, when carpet production was at its peak.

The objects on show will also focus on the role that trade and migration played in Persian art, serving as a catalyst of artistic and technological advancement.

“Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands” is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. It will be accompanied by a 304-page fully illustrated catalogue edited by Aimée Froom, curator of arts of the Islamic World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

“Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands” will be on view at the Toledo Museum of Art from April 23 to July 17.

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