Photography in Iran began in the middle of Mohammad shah Qajar’s rule (1834-1848) and about 3 years after its appearance in the world. “Upon Mohammad shah Qajar’s request, the Russian set British governments sent daguerreotype apparatus to Persia. The Russian set, a present of the Czar, arrived earlier. Nikolai pavlov, a young Russian diplomat trained for the purpose, brought it to Tehran and took the first daguerreotypes recorded in Iranian history in presence of Mohammad shah on the date”(Qarterly Tavoos – Chahryar Adle) . According to historical documents, Jules Richards, titled Monsieur Richard Khan photographed the Crown prince (Nasseredin Shah at age of 13) and his sister in Tabriz (1844). He was then summoned to the palace to photograph Mohammad Shah, the princes and the shah’ entourage (1847). With the appearance of photography in Iran the AKS (image), which was a common and traditional term used by past artists to refer to reflections of objects on mirror, water or bright surfaces.
Iranians who traveled abroad at the end of the Nineteenth Century to Europe, the ottoman Empire, India and Caucasian countries, used to take souvenir images, and thus the term AKS was accepted and use for photography. Due to its unparalleled realism in capturing the image of the world on a small plate as well as the simplicity of its creation (compared to painting and design) which amazed any viewer; photography and its fantastic magic was a dream come true for those unskilled in the intricacies of drawing, who nonetheless graved for possessing images of the world. This was the main raison d’etre and evolution of the industry(Quoted from the Books of “Treasury of Iranian Photos “and “Nasseredin Shah the Photographer”).
The city photo museum
The construction works on the city photo museum began in 1994 and the building occupying an area of 250 m2, was inaugurated in May 18th,1995 on World Museum Day. The City Photo Museum is affiliated to the Cultural-Artistic organization of Tehran’s Municipality, and it is first specialized applied Museum of its kind in Iran and the middle East. The Museum consists of different sections, Which were created for its activities within the frame of space available. These are: Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Library and Photo Lab.
In this Gallery large frame cameras since their invention until the year 1900. Accessories and samples of wares and chemicals used to develop and fix photos are on display. The cameras exhibited range from the largest frame (20×30) right down to the smallest (9×12). In the context of its objectives, the Museum also collects and organizes periodical exhibitions of old and modern photos in this Gallery. The old photos reflect a part of the history of Iranian photography, while the Modern Photo Exhibitions serve the purpose of introducing pioneer and more recent artists.
The City Photo Museum is an ideal location for display and protection of old cameras, accessories and equipment of collectors.
Medium and small frame cameras, built between the years 1900 to 1970 in different countries are on display in this Gallery. The old photo studio and the negative plates in this Gallery retell the story of Photography in Iran.
Oil Lamp Developer
This equipment was used to print photos before the entry of electricity in Iran. The light source was an oil lamp with a duct on top of it. Due to its weak light, the enlarger is equipped whit a large and heavy condenser lens.
Depending on the paper size, the exposure time would sometimes exceed one hour. Focusing was achieved by adjusting either the bellow or the lens. The equipment was used over a century ago.
The city Photo Museum is open to public every day of the week except Saturdays.
Spring – summer: 09:30-18:00 Fall – winter: 09:30-17:00
For further information please contact:
Fax no.:(+9821) 88848993
Web site: WWW.iranphotomuseum.com
Address: Bahar Shiraz Sq. Bahar Shiraz Ave. Hafte-Tir Sq. Tehran, Iran.
Writer : Hedieh Zakerinia