Unititled, from the series, Witness 1979

Artist: Hengameh Golestan (Iranian, born 1952)
Historical period(s)
March 11, 1979 (printed 2014)
Ink-jet print on paper
H x W (image): 45.1 × 30.1 cm (17 3/4 × 11 7/8 in)
Credit Line
Puchase -- Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Endowment for Contemporary Iranian Art
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


Iran, protest, public gathering, snow, umbrella, woman
Provenance research underway.

Photographing since the early 1970s, Golestan is considered a pioneer among Iranian artists, and among the very few known female photographers working so extensively in the immediate post-revolutionary period. Denied the possibility of going to the front line of the Iran-Iraq War with her husband and renowned photographer Kaveh Golestan (1950-2003), she turned her attention to village life. Hengameh Golestan’s work is remarkable for her access as a woman to the intimate spaces and moments of life in Kurdistan and other rural areas.

During an especially tumultuous time, she was in the streets of Tehran with her husband and captured a time of unique historical importance. On March 8-11, 1979, women protested Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s decree requiring all women to wear a veil in public. These photographs capture the last day that Iranian women were photographed in the streets without the veil, and the first widespread vocal protest of the Ayatollah Khomeini since his return.

Published References
  • David Hogge, Carol Huh. Painting with Light: Photography at the Freer / Sackler. Washington, 2017. 176-177, 184, 135.
Collection Area(s)
Contemporary Art
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