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BEYOND THE CHADOR: Dress from the mountains and deserts of Iran

From 23 January until 29 August 2013, the TRC presents a spectacular exhibition of clothing from Iran in its Leiden gallery. Visitors will be struck by the sheer diversity, the bright colours and multitude of shapes, which constitute such a marked contrast with the dominant perception of Iranian clothing as being dull and uniform.

TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador". Photographer: Andrew Thompson.

TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador". Photographer: Andrew Thompson.

Iran is a country with a very ancient and proud history. It is also a country with a harsh climate, with deserts and mountains and an overall lack of water. Formerly known as Persia, it lies at the crossroads between Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Iran is also the homeland of many empires, including the Persian Achaemenids, the Parthians, the Sassanians and the Safavids. Over the centuries numerous groups crossed the country, in both directions. Some of the newcomers settled down, others moved on. Nowadays Iran shares frontiers with (clockwise) Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The country’s geography, climate and human history have thus created a complex tapestry that reflects a wide diversity of cultures and traditions. Although rapidly vanishing in some areas due to national pressures and globalization, many aspects of these traditions can still be found in the regional dress of the country, especially that worn by women.

Most of the outfits in the exhibition date from the late nineteenth and the twentieth centuries and are now housed in the collection of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Many of the garments were collected during long periods of field work in Iran between 1998-2003 by Gillian and Willem Vogelsang. The garments originate from among most of the main ethnic groups, plus some smaller ones.

Perhaps you want to see a brief film of the exhibition, then please click here.

General view. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

General view. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

 

Late 19th century Iranian dress. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

Late 19th century Iranian dress. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

 

 

Abyaneh dress. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

Abyaneh dress. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

 

Iranian hats. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

Iranian hats. TRC exhibition "Beyond the Chador", January-August 2013.

TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Gallery exhibition, 3 April - 29 June: From Kaftan to Kippa

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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Financial gifts

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations can also be made via Paypal: