Take a closer look into the lives of Qajar Women in MIA’s 4th floor galleries
Qajar Women: Images of Women in 19th-Century Iran opens today at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). This new temporary exhibition showcases a wide variety of artworks from the Qajar period, all of which feature Persian women as the main subject.
Under the patronage of Qatar Museums Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, this exhibition demonstrates the importance of women in the art of 19th-century Iran and how this continues to inspire contemporary artists.
From 8 April, Qajar Women presents a completely new and innovative approach to Qajar art. Until now, the most popular representations of the Qajar era (1779 to 1925) have been of male sovereigns whose life-size portraits exaggerate masculinity to depict power. Yet this era is also characterised by artistic modernisation in Iran. This is particularly true of paintings and photography, in which women became essential characters in the events and scenes portrayed. The exhibition includes artworks that reflect various interpretations of female musicians, aristocratic women, women at the court and in private quarters, all exploring the rarely-told narratives of the Qajar artistic tradition.
A wide variety of objects, including lacquers, watercolours, manuscripts, jewellery, ceramics, and metalwork, are displayed in the Temporary Exhibition Galleries on the 4th floor of MIA. The exhibition is divided into four themes: ‘Notions of Beauty: Images of Women in Qajar Art’; ‘Daily Life’; ‘Women, Power, and Refinement’; and ‘Women as Symbols in Art.’