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The Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Fund for Contemporary Iranian Art

Whether reexamining the past or delving into the realities of the present, Iranian photographers have created some of the most powerful and iconic images in the world. Along with one of the most significant collections of works on paper from Iran, the Freer and Sackler Galleries hold the largest collection of Iranian photographs in the United States. Included images range from glass-plate negatives by celebrated Iranian-Armenian photographer Antoin Sevruguin to works by noted contemporary artists such as Abbas Kiarostami and Shadi Ghadirian.

With the generous gift of Dr. Jahangir Amuzegar, the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Fund for Contemporary Iranian Art was established at the Freer and Sackler in 2011. This resource has been critical to the Galleries’ goal of becoming one of the few major U.S. institutions to actively collect contemporary Iranian photography. The growing holdings, together with our nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographic materials, will encourage new scholarship on Iranian contributions to the field.

A distinguished economist and academic, Dr. Amuzegar has devoted much of his life to public service and education. In Iran, he served as minister of commerce (1962–63), minister of finance (1963), and ambassador-at-large (1963–79). He also acted as executive director of the International Monetary Fund, representing Iran and several other member countries. Dr. Amuzegar has taught at UCLA, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Maryland, American University, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Above, clockwise from left: Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar; detail, An Iranian fisherman being shaved by his colleague by Seifollah Samadian; Deadly Affair by Mitra Tabrizian; detail, A young boy helping his father in their pottery factory by Seifollah Samadian; A Long Wait by Mitra Tabrizian.

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