Home > Iran in Photographs > Abdullah Mirza Qajar

Abdullah Mirza Qajar

Abdullah Mirza Qajar (1850—1909) was the son of Jahangir Mirza Qajar, a member of the ruling family in Iran in the nineteenth century. He studied and later taught at Dar al-Funun, a polytechnic school in Tehran, during the reign of Nasir al-Din Shah (reigned 1848—96). Around 1878 he went to study in Paris, then in Vienna, followed by three years in Salzburg. In his writings Abdullah described the printing techniques he learned in Europe, such as the processes for producing zincographs, phototypes, photolithographs, and galvanoplastic (electrotype) prints. After he returned to Tehran, he worked on printing maps of Ahvaz and other towns, which he presented to the royal court. When his business in the printing field proved to be unsuccessful, Abdullah Mirza focused his efforts on photography.

His first works as a photographer in the Qajar court date to 1883. A few years later he traveled to Khurasan and then to Rey and Qom to photograph new buildings being constructed there. He also undertook assignments in Tabriz, Kermanshah, Mashhad, and Kashan. During his years as a court photographer, Abdullah also took pictures at Dar al-Funun of the students in uniform and of other subjects. Abdullah did not receive many orders after the death of Nasir al-Din Shah in 1896, and his photography business seems to have suffered. He continued to work under Muzaffar al-Din Shah (reigned 1896—1907), and he accompanied the new ruler to Europe in 1900 and again in 1903. During his lifetime Abdullah Mirza was regarded as a highly accomplished photographer.

See photographs by Abdullah Mirza Qajar here.

You're viewing an archived version of our site. Some pages may be out of date. Visit freersackler.si.edu for the most up-to-date information.