Iran Heritage Foundation
|Type||Foundation, Nonprofit Organization|
|Headquarters||63 New Cavendish Street London W1G 7LP United Kingdom|
The Iran Heritage Foundation is a non-political UK registered charity with a mission to promote and preserve the history, languages and cultures of Iran and the Persianate world. The remit of the Foundation is wide and includes archaeology, history, art history, literature, the performing arts, film, photography, music and contemporary art. The Foundation covers all periods of Iranian civilization from ancient to modern. The Foundation achieves its objectives by organising and supporting exhibitions, cultural events and conferences, by giving grants for academic and scholarly research and for contemporary arts, by sponsoring publications and by supporting posts in universities and museums. The latter arrangements are at the heart of the IHF's Institutional Partnership Programme, and institutions that have been involved include the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Oxford, Reading, and St Andrews, and the British Library, the British Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Freer Sackler gallery in Washington DC. Important exhibitions sponsored by IHF have included ‘Forgotten Empire’ and ‘Shah Abbas’ at the British Museum in 2005 and 2009, and the tour of the Cyrus Cylinder to five US museums in 2013. In 2014-2015 the IHF organised two major international conferences, ‘Iran's Natural Heritage’ in 2014 and ‘From Persepolis to Isfahan: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage’ in 2015. Amongst major projects supported by the IHF is the Golha Archive, an online digitized and fully indexed archive of the Golha radio programmes broadcast on Iranian National Radio from 1956 through 1979. The IHF has also supported programmes to digitise Persian manuscripts at the British Library and the Freer Sackler Gallery.
The Foundation is funded by contributions from trustees and patrons and by various fund-raising events. Chief amongst these is the annual Norouz Gala Dinner, held to celebrate the Iranian New Year at the time of the spring equinox. The Foundation does not accept financial support from any Government organisations or lobbying groups. The IHF is governed by a body of trustees supported by an Academic Committee, a Contemporary Arts Committee, and the Norouz Gala Committee.
The Director of the IHF from 1995 until 2007 was Farhad Hakimzadeh, and the Chief Executive Officer 2008 - 2013 was Farad Azima. In January 2014 John Curtis, formerly Keeper of the Middle East Department at the British Museum, was appointed CEO. Since 2012 the IHF has been based at Asia House in New Cavendish Street, and in 2015 the IHF introduced for the first time a membership scheme and a regular series of monthly events at Asia house. These events include lectures, panel discussions and films. The IHF has presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to John Curtis (2005), John Curtis and Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis (2013) and Parviz Tanavoli (2015). In 2010 IHF established a parallel organisation in the USA known as IHF America. This organisation played an important role in the tour of the Cyrus Cylinder exhibition to five different US venues in 2013.
Significant exhibitions sponsored by IHF include
‘Royal Persian Paintings: the Qajar Epoch 1785-1925’, at the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, 1999
‘Iranian Contemporary Art’ at the Barbican, 2001
‘Twelve Photographic Journeys: Iran in the 21st century’, at the Brunei Gallery, School of Oriental and African Studies, 2003
‘Forest without Leaves: the Art of Abbas Kiarostami’, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2005
‘Forgotten Empire: the World of Ancient Persia’ at the British Museum, 2005-6
‘30 Years of Solitude’ at Asia House, 2008
‘Shah Abbas: the Remaking of Iran’ at the British Museum, 2009
‘Epic of the Persian Kings: the Art of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh’, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 2010-2011
‘The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning for the Middle East’, at the Freer Sackler Gallery, Washington, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and at Getty Villa, Los Angeles in 2013.
Significant Publications sponsored by IHF include
Touraj Atabaki (ed.), Iran in the 20th Century: Historiography and Political Culture (2009)
John Curtis and St John Simpson (eds), The World of Achaemenid Persia (2010)
Dominic Brookshaw and Nasrin Rahimieh (eds), Forugh Farrokhzad: Poet of Modern Iran (2010)
Leonard Lewisohn (ed.), Hafiz and the Religion of Love in Classical Persian Poetry (2010)
Willem Floor and Edmund Herzig (eds), Iran and the World in the Safavid Age (2012)
Rudi Matthee, Willem Floor and Patrick Clawson, The Monetary History of Iran from the Safavids to the Qajars (2013)
Jean Perrot (ed.), The Palace of Darius at Susa (2013)