The Powerhouse Museum will mark Nowrouz – that's Persian New Year if you didn't know – on March 19 with a new exhibition, Iranzamin. It’s the museum’s first dedicated survey of their Persian arts and crafts collection, presenting more than 100 rarely seen gems. The show explores the rich social and cultural history of Persian society, known today as Iran, with a distinct focus on the Qajar era, spanning 1789-1925.
The exhibition is divided into seven themes: Joy and Happiness, Purification and Cleansing, Spirituality and Devotion, Poetry and Calligraphy, Rituals and Performance, Patronage and Craftsmanship, and finally Nature and Design. Iranzamin encompasses everything from hand-woven carpets and rugs, to armour and weaponry, to beautiful blown glass pieces, ceramics, tiles and embroidery.
Persia straddled two main trade routes in the Indian Ocean and the Silk Road, so many of its cultural traditions spread far and wide. Iranzamin also acknowledges the wide-reaching influence of this artistic diaspora, including the works of Australian painter and textile designer Florence Broadhurst.
Curator Pedram Khosronejad says, “Persia has a long tradition of arts and crafts stretching back more than a millennium, but it was under the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, King of Persia between 1848 and 1896, that Persian arts and crafts flourished. The Powerhouse’s Persian collection, mostly from the Qajar era, is unique, rich and diverse. The objects tell fascinating stories about Irania