Exhibition On now until Sunday, 12 September 2021

Epic Iran

★★★★★ Explores five jaw-dropping millennia of cultural history.

The Guardian

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • On now until Sunday, 12 September 2021

  • Gallery 39 and the North Court

  • £18.00

    Concessions apply.
    Members and children under 12 go free. Booking is essential.

Exploring 5,000 years of art, design and culture, Epic Iran shines a light on one of the greatest historic civilisations, its journey into the 21st century and its monumental artistic achievements, which remain unknown to many.

Exhibition Trailer

Epic Iran is organised by the V&A with the Iran Heritage Foundation in association with The Sarikhani Collection

Exhibition Highlights

Group of two figures
Group of two figures, about 1500 – 1100 BC. © The Sarikhani Collection
armlet
Armlet, from the Oxus Treasure, 500 – 330 BC, present day Afghanistan. Museum no. 442-1884. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bust
Royal bust, about 439 – 457 AD. © The Sarikhani Collection
Folio from the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp
Qaran Unhorses Barman, a folio from the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, Tabriz, about 1523 – 35. The Sarikhani Collection, I.MS.4025. © The Sarikhani Collection
Horoscope of Iskandar Sultan
Horoscope of Iskandar Sultan, 1411. © Wellcome Collection
Bottle and bowl with poetry in Persian
Bottle and bowl with poetry in Persian, 1180 – 1220, Iran. Museum nos. C.37-1978 & C.46-1978. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
aba
Aba, male robe, before 1877, Kashan, Iran. Museum no. 883-1877. Museum no. 883-1877. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
blouse
Woman’s jacket, blouse and skirt, 1800 – 50, Iran. Museum no. T.57&A-1979. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Poet and the Beloved of the King
The Poet and the Beloved of the King, Parviz Tanavoli, 1964 – 66. . © Tate, London. 2017
Painting
Veiled Woman, by Sirak Melkonian, 1957. © Sirak Melkonian
Eshgh (Love)
Eshgh (Love), by Farhad Moshiri, 2007. © Farhad Moshiri
Miss Hybrid #3
Miss Hybrid #3, by Shirin Aliabadi, 2008. © Estate of Shirin Aliabadi
Cyrus Cylinder
Cyrus Cylinder, 539 – 538 BC. © The Trustees of the British Museum

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Epic Iran: 5000 Years of Culture (Hardback)

Epic Iran: 5000 Years of Culture (Hardback)

This book brings treasures from the ancient and Islamic worlds together with the work of contemporary artists and makers.

£35 Buy
Epic Iran exhibition tote bag

Epic Iran exhibition tote bag

Inspired by the V&A’s world-renowned collection of Iranian textiles, the patterns on this bag have been adapted and recoloured to create a stunning design.

£12 Buy
Medium pink Iranian kapu basket

Medium pink Iranian kapu basket

These joyful hand-woven baskets made by female artisans reflect a unique expression of Iranian craftsmanship that has existed for thousands of years.

£25 Buy
Epic Iran

With thanks to: The Godwin Family, Darioush Winery, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, a donor-advised fund of The London Community Foundation, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, The Soudavar Memorial Foundation, The Arah Foundation, Dr Amir Ali Farman-Farma and The Altajir Trust.

Background image: Detached folio from an illuminated manuscript of the Shahnameh for Shah Tahmasp, 1525 – 35, Tabriz. The Sarikhani Collection, I.MS.4025.