Columbia University Seminars, Seminar on Iranian Studies

5:30 PM—7:30 PM
Faculty House of Columbia University




The eighth meeting of the 26th consecutive year of Columbia University Seminar on

Iranian Studies for the academic year 2013-2014 will take place on:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

at 5:30 pm in the

Faculty House of Columbia University

Our speaker will be


Dr. Mohammad Gharipour of Morgan State University


who will lead the discussion on the topic of:


Power, Pleasure, and Interaction:

Depictions of Garden Pavilions in Persian Paintings


Seminar will start at 5:30.


Please notify our rapporteur, Justin McNamee at if you

will attend the lecture. (Please also specify if you will stay for dinner.)

We are looking forward to the pleasure of seeing you at the seminar.


To reach the Faculty House:

Enter the Wien Hall Gate on 116th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and

Morningside Drive. Walk past Wien Hall, and then turn right to the Faculty House.




Gardens and pavilions, as significant cultural elements, were widely reflected in Persian art such as painting, sculpture and carpet.  Miniature paintings not only enlivened imaginary figures and stories, but also combined them with real characters, lives, and events.  The degree of realism in artists’ depictions depended on a series of factors, such as artists’ personal interests, patrons’ aesthetic expectations, stylistic movements, and the cultural context behind their creation.  Depictions of gardens and pavilions in book illustrations, along with descriptions in historical accounts, prove that Persian gardens consistently functioned as settings for political, cultural, and social events.  This presentation will examine Persian paintings that were created between the 15th and 18th centuries to further explore the context and design of gardens and pavilions and the relationship between them.  The study of paintings sheds light on gardens that do not exist anymore or were not described in chronicles and historical accounts.


Mohammad Gharipour is an assistant professor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University in Maryland. He obtained his Master’s in architecture from the University of Tehran and PhD in architecture and landscape history at Georgia Institute of Technology. As the recipient of the Hamad Bin Khalifa Fellowship in Islamic Art in 2007 and the Spiro Kostof Fellowship Award from the Society of Architectural Historians in 2008, Gharipour has published extensively on architectural history.  He is the author of Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in Poetry, Arts and History (I.B.Tauris, 2013), editor of Bazaar in the Islamic City (American University of Cairo Press, 2012), co-editor of Calligraphy in Muslim Architecture (Edinburgh University Press, 2013). Gharipour is the founding editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture.
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