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Museum of Kamal al-Molk School

Introducing Museum of Kamal al-Molk School

The museum opened at July 15, 2013 in cooperation with “Organization of Tehran Beautification” and “Cultural Deputy of University of Tehran” at Negarestan Garden & Museum of University of Tehran.

Kamal al-Molk School

Master Mohammad Ghaffari, known as Kamal al-Molk, is among prominent figures in art of Iran. He developed Iranian art so effective that made him a legend in Iranian folklore and in most of Iranian cities one can finds his name on a street, school, or institute.

Master Kamal al-Molk founded “Madreseh Sanäie’ Mostazrefeh” [Fine Art School] at Negarestan Garden at 1911 and began to train students, despite of problems he faced. Based on his charisma, most of his students promoted to highest skills of art and followed his style for next half century; such Masters leaded “new art of Iran” through next years by teaching at universities and art schools. Ruin Päkbäz describes Kamal al-Molk artistic genre under “Kamal al-Molk School” entry as follows:

“So-called Kamal al-Molk School is titled to describe works of Kamal al-Molk’s students and followers of his style”. Ashtiani, Vaziri, Heidarian, Sheikh, Yasemi, Mahmood Oliae, Ali Akbar Najm Abadi, Yahya Dolatshahi, Mohsen Soheili Sedighi, Mohsen Moghaddam, Fathollah Ebadi, Reza Shahabi, Markar Qarabeglian, Samimi, Mostafa Najmi are among his students. However, Rassam Arzhangi and Mir Mosavvar Arzhangi who were trained at Russia and started teaching at Tabriz, and Ali Asghar Petgar, Jafar Petgar, and Hooshang Peimani can be counted as Kamal al-Molk’s students; but among them, Ali Rokhsaz and Ali Akbar Sana’ti should be characterized.

Following Kamal al-Molk, their ideal was in Rafael, Titian, Rubens and Rembrandt’s art; however, they followed academic art styles of Europe at 19th century and combination of superficial Classicism,  and Naturalism with pseudo romantic Sentimentalism. They worked mostly at high schools, art institutes, and private institutes where they even published painting and drawing books. Generally, their “school” dominated Iranian contemporary art, and even now plays significant role in leading public culture and artistic taste (since middle of 19th century onward the same streams has flown at many Asian and African countries with different expansion and effect that mostly opposed new trends).

Emphasis on following traditional European Naturalism is common aspect of all followers of Kamal al-Molk who are not similar in knowledge, technical ability, style, and topic. Topics are portrays, nature, and landscape where indicating ethnographical trends; some features can be distinguished, for example, smooth shadings of Vaziri, solidarity of drawings of Sheikh, loose etching of Oliae, variety of styles of Shahabi, and social sensitivity of Peimani and Sana’ti. It appears that artistic knowledge and understanding in Heidarian’s and Sana’ti’s works are deeper than the others’ that permit them to step further than the school