Abguineh Museum
The Glass and Ceramics Museum, Tehran
August, 2003

This exquisite museum is housed in a beautiful building, built in the 19th century for a prominent Persian family. It later was the home of the Egyptian embassy, who sold it in 1976 to the Iranian Commercial Bank. A group of Iranian and Austrian architects meticulously and lavishly refurbished the museum, which was opened in 1989.

This magnificent wooden staircase and decorative walls and windows are a perfect blend of Persian and European styles.

Remember this beautiful picture of Mandana? This is where it was taken.

As exquisite as the museum building is, the most impressived thing about it is the attention paid to the display of each piece. Each item, porcelain, glass and crystal is displayed its own case or lit display cabinet, as if someone lovingly considered its beauty, to be shown at its best. Each is accompanied by a display card in both English and Persian. Pieces date back to the second millenium b.c. and are arranged chronologically.

Photos were generously allowed, so we were able to photograph a few of our favorite pieces.

Some of us gathered there for a photo. From left to right, Shahriar Shariari, from Pomona College, USA, who helped organize the conference, and encouraged us to participate, Reza Khosrovshahi, the head of Mathematics and associate director of IPM, who was most reponsible for the conference and what happened there, your two friends, and Sam Hedayat, from Chicago, USA.

Who's who?

Mandana translated the beautiful calligraphy around the rim of this bowl. 'I have worked hard to create this bowl, may it be protected because of its beauty, and keep it from being broken, that its beauty may last into the ages.'

The museum also houses artists at work, a library, and pieces of contemporary glass and ceramics. We bought this piece at the gift shop. It was made by a contemporary artist workshop in Tehran.

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