Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman

Vibrant World of Contemporary Art

The Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum, a national heritage site of Iran, was once the residence of Ali Akbar Sanati, a prominent Iranian sculptor. With a collection of approximately 1,200 artworks, the museum offers a deep dive into various contemporary art styles such as Abstract, Pop Art, and Minimalism.

Equipped with a specialized art library, it serves as a resourceful hub for art enthusiasts and artists alike. Explore the Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman with SURFIRAN.

From Orphanage to a Hub of Contemporary Art

Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman
Inside Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman

Originally established as the Kerman Industrial Orphanage in 1916 by a Kermani philanthropist, Haj Akbar Sanati Zadeh, the orphanage provided care and education to nearly 4,000 children. Many of these children, under the guidance of Haj Akbar, grew into notable individuals.

To address the lack of official documentation for some children, Haj Akbar arranged for them to be registered with the surname ‘Sanati‘. Among these children was Ali Akbar Sanati, later renowned as the “Father of Iranian Sculpture“.

The Museum’s Evolution

Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman
Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum Courtyard

The cultural activities of the orphanage began in 1949 with the establishment of a workshop and an exhibition of Master Sanati’s paintings and sculptures. In 1962, one of Kerman’s first libraries was added to this cultural complex. This library, now a specialized art library, welcomes students, art lovers, researchers, and artists.

In 1977, to preserve and exhibit the works of Ali Akbar Sanati and other Iranian and international artists, the orphanage was transformed into a museum. On April 17, 2001, the museum building was registered as a national heritage site in Iran.

Ali Akbar Sanati: The Renowned Iranian Sculptor

Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman
Contemporary Arts in Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum, Kerman, Iran

Ali Akbar Sanati, who lost his parents at a young age, was taken under Haj Akbar’s wing. Acknowledging his artistic talent, Haj Akbar encouraged and supported him. Sanati initially trained under local masters in Kerman and later pursued specialized sculpture courses in Tehran under masters like Behzad, Taherzadeh, Abolhassan Sadighi, and Master Heidarian.

Remaining a lifelong member of the Iranian Academy of Arts, Sanati became an exclusive selectee of the academy. He is the only Iranian artist with two museums named after him in Kerman and Tehran. His unique artistic signature was creating images in sculptural forms, with the ‘Angel of Justice‘ at Tehran’s Palace of Justice being one of his most famous works. Sanati passed away in 2006, leaving behind a legacy of 2,000 oil paintings and 400 significant sculptures.

Architecture of the Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum

Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum in Kerman
Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum Architecture (photo by Wikipedia)

The museum’s primary structure is linear, built with raw bricks and refined brickwork. Its traditional Iranian architectural style features a domed roof and a front porch used for protection and cooling. The entrance, adorned with turquoise and black mosaic tiles and brick, added in 1948, enhances the building’s aesthetic appeal. The museum’s architecture reflects the final days of traditional Iranian architecture fusion, with its grounds landscaped in the classic Persian garden style. The latest renovation was in 2013.


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Artworks at the Sanati Contemporary Arts Museum

The museum houses around 1,200 art pieces, including bronze, plaster, marble, and wooden sculptures, mosaic stone panels, and drawings in pencil, oil, and watercolor. Styles range from Minimalism to Conceptual Art, Abstract Art, Calligraphy, Pop Art, and more.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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