Imam Ali (AS) Museum which was inaugurated by Tehran Municipality’s Cultural and Arts Organization two years ago is the first religious museum in the capital.
According to the Persian daily Hamshahri, the museum has a display area of 2,500 sq.m. It has three halls--on the ground floor, the first and second floors.
The museum has four sections: Thought, Culture, Literature and Arts. “There are at least 3,000 artworks on display at the museum. A majority of the collections are in the form of visual arts by contemporary artists. Classic and modern paintings and graphic and calligraphy works are also featured at Imam Ali (AS) Museum which is named after the first Imam of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) infallible household.
Treasury of Religious Arts
Religious art scholars consider the presence of a sacred or spiritual element as the criterion of a religious art work or event.
Religious art created by a believing artist is inspired by a religious experience and the artist's beliefs are the source of his inspiration.
In view of the above considerations the museum focuses on art that immediately evokes a profoundly perceived sacred or spiritual element.
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Director of Imam Ali (AS) Museum Bahrampour said that it is a museum of artistic works in the visual art category. He said that the collection is effective in purifying the spirit of the visitors.
“Our society now needs tranquility and contemplation more than at any other time. If we manage to communicate with visitors for about 10 minutes, we have done our job well as a religious museum,“ he said.
Bahrampour said that there are also other religious museums in provincial cities citing Museum of Hazrat Abdul Azim in the holy city of Qom and Museum of holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad.
Several artworks on display in Imam Ali (AS) Museum date back to the late Qajar era when paintings in tea house style, miniatures and pages from holy Qur’an were common.
Works by late Hossein Qollar Aghasi, late Mohammad Modaber and Fathollah Qollar Aghasi narrate the tragedy of Ashura, Ghadir Khom and Javanmard Qassab which are part of the religious beliefs of ordinary people.
Meanwhile, the library of Imam Ali (AS) Museum has 3,000 titles of books and the target is to increase this figure to 10,000.