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CALL. 06.08.2018: Achaemenid Persian Art and Architecture in the Museum (Panel at CAA 107th Annual C


Below please find the details for a session that we are chairing at the annual College Art Association meeting that will be held in New York City from February 13-16, 2019.



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: New York Hilton Midtown, New York (NY, USA)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Alexander Nagel (Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History); Martina Rugiadi. CAA 107th Annual Conference.

INFO: PDF - Web -,


Between c. 520 and 330 BCE, the Achaemenid Persian Empire stretched from the heartlands of Iran, to Egypt, the Caucasus, the Indus, Central Asia and beyond. Since its rediscovery in the 17th century, the art and architecture from the monumental palaces on sites such as Persepolis, Susa, and Babylon found their ways into institutions within Iran, other parts of Asia, Europe and the North Americas.

This session will address aspects of the art histories and historiographies of display and conservation of Achaemenid Persian art in the museum context. Who were the designers, curators, art historians and key individuals involved in the display? What narratives were presented? How imaginative were modern constructions in Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., London, Berlin and Tehran? How is Achaemenid Persian art conserved and displayed in museums today? How is the display of this great ancient empire balanced alongside ancient Egyptian and classical Greek architecture and Islamic art and architecture in museum pedagogy?

Based on new research in archives of art historians, curators and collections, session participants will discuss aspects of the history of display and inclusion and exclusion of Achaemenid art in museum displays providing fresh approaches to aspects of the legacy of ancient Near Eastern art and architecture in the museum institution. The session will feature an interactive display curated by students from New York City. This display will allow audience members to engage with the art of pre-Islamic Iran in an experimental and innovative way.

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