The Tehran Museum of Contemporary
Art, is surrounded by 7000 sq/m of landscape, known as the
sculpture park, in which sculptures by renowned international
and Iranian artists are on display. The museum building, with
5000 sq/m gross area, was designed by the architect Kamran Diba,
and was inaugurated in 1977.
As a contemporary example of Iranian architecture, its design
has been inspired by certain traditional Iranian as well as
modern architecture. The building is sited adjacent to Kargar
avenue, from which visitors access the main entrance. On the
approach towards the main entrance, four semi-arch vertical
elements are seen atop the building at a distance. These
elements, which function as skylights above the atrium inside,
are metaphorical gestures of traditional wind-catchers in some
provincial towns bordering the desert of central Iran.
Similar semi-arched skylights are utilized, either linearly or
fragmented, above the galleries throughout the building.
Collectively, these spread out
parallel skylights mounted atop the single story rectangular
masses of the galleries, constitute the main formal language of
this angularly set complex. It is a concrete frame building with
non-geometric rough stone finish on the exterior, and the roof's
skylights are covered with seamed copper panels.
The first gallery, called Chahar-su
(four-way), surrounds the spacious atrium, and accommodates
direct access to the exterior sculpture court, coffee shop, book
shop, second gallery
and the central ramp which
circularly descends one floor, under the four skylights,
providing further access along its course to the library,
administrative and curatorial offices. From the second gallery,
on the ground floor, the visitors follow a rather long
descending path, which leads to the seven remaining galleries,
terminating in the ninth gallery located at a close proximity
from the bottom of ascending central ramp and the atrium.
Here, at the center of this solemn atrium, a rectangular pool,
inspired by the concept of "hoze" (small pool) in Iranian
architecture, is placed. It has filled the heart of the museum
with a mysterious haze of artistic sense and charm.
The day to day running of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is
divided into four sections: the Department of Administrative Affairs,
which coordinates the activities of the entire museum; the Department
of Artistic Affairs, which curates and organizes exhibitions; the
Office of Guides and Guards, which trains guides to provide
informative tours of the museum in several languages for visitors, and
trains the guards to protect the museum's property; and the
Department of Public Relations, which liaises with international art
institutions and maintains contact with artists and the general public.
An important aspect of this department's duties is the analysis and
classification of data relating to artists and works of art for our
computer-based art information bank.
Another essential museum departments is Exhibition Services and
Art Archives where paintings from the museum's permanent collection
are stored. The archives fill three halls with a stable temperature of
22c,in which the art works are stored on mobile metal mesh sheets fitted
on to ceiling tracks.
The Department of Photography is a well-equipped department which
provides several services. including photographing museum events and the
museum's collection, as well as maintaining the museum's photographic
The Art Galleries
The Museum of Contemporary Art
has nine galleries, three of which are dedicated to paintings by
international artists from the museum's permanent collection. Temporary
exhibitions are held in the other six galleries throughout the year.
The Sculpture Court is a
semi-enclosed exterior space within
the museum complex. It is an
appropriate setting for the sculptural works of three
"Le Therapeute" by Rene Magritte, "A Man and a Woman" by Alberto
Giacometti, and "Horse and Rider" by Marino Marini.
Most of the sculpture park's grounds
are located to the north of the museum complex. The Park is home
to works by a number of the world's leading sculptors, including
"Capricorn" by Max Ernst; "The Prickly Pear" by Alexander
Calder; "The Reclining Figure" by "Henry Moore"; "Homage to
Pablo Neruda" by Eduardo Chilida; "Multiplied by Space" by Max
Bill; and "Shirin and Farhad" by Parviz Tanavoli, amongst
The Coffee Shop
The museum's coffee shop
is located on the ground floor, with a soaring high ceiling,
glazed walls, and a panoramic view of the sculpture court and
the landscape beyond.
The museum's bookshop carries
postcards, calendars journals, art books and the museum's own
The Library holds several
thousand books and journals on various fields of art in many
languages. As a specialized library, it is only open to members, as well as
researchers, scholars and students