Keelan Overton – Afterlives of Iran’s Monumental Mihrabs
Talk by Keelan Overton
This talk explores the afterlives of Iran’s monumental mihrabs and their impact on the host building in question. Surveying approximately to dozen mihrabs – including examples in situ in mosques and tomb – shrines and those on display in Iranian and foreign museums highlight the circumstances that have informed their transformation and reception over the last two centuries, to include preservation, canonization, pillaging, and commodification. The varied fates and fortunes of Iran’s mihrabs reveal the contested and conditional nature of Persian architectural history, and emphasize how recent trends in fieldwork, museum studies, tourism, and politics are reshaping the discipline as we speak.