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Photographs of Turn-of-the-century Iran Are Focus of Exhibit at Juniata Art Museum

(Posted September 12, 2005)

The title of the photo is Village Girl, 1875

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Striking black-and-white prints of the culture of Iran from the late 19th century and early 20th century will be on display in the exhibit "Antoin Sevruguin and the Persian Image" from Friday, Sept. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Juniata College Museum of Art.

There will be an opening reception at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23 at the museum. The exhibit and reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibit is part of a traveling exhibit organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

The show gives visitors a visual doorway into the bustling culture of turn-of-the-century Iran as photographer Antoin Sevruguin recorded high culture -- including photos of the Shah and the royal family -- as well as everyday events, such as a traffic jam or a small girl dressed in traditional garb..

Sevruguin was able to record such a wide range of Iranian life because he was one of the royal court photographers and also operated a portrait studio open to the public. He also indulged his interest in history by traveling to photograph historical sites of Iran's Persian past such as the ruins of Persepolis and inscriptions relating to the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes.

Sevruguin, an Armenian Christian who spent much of his life in Tehran, had much of his archive destroyed during Iran's civil unrest in the early part of the 20th century. The Juniata exhibit is selected from the nearly 700 Sevruguin images in the Smithsonian's collection.

The Juniata College Museum of Art is located in historic Carnegie Hall at 17th and Moore streets in Huntingdon. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please call the museum at (814) 641-3505, or visit the Juniata College Web site at http://www.juniata.edu/museum.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.