A Hoard of Famous Artworks Have Been in Storage Since the Iran Revolution

Kirstin Fawcett
Wikipedia//CC BY-SA
Wikipedia//CC BY-SA / Wikipedia//CC BY-SA

Since 1979, a hoard of valuable artworks by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackson Pollock, and other famous names have been sitting in storage.

The works once belonged to Farah Diba Pahlavi, the former empress of Iran,Vanity Fair reports. Pahlavi purchased the paintings—which are valued at approximately $3 billion—when Iran was flush with oil money and the global art market had hit a nadir. After she and her husband, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, were ousted in the 1979 Iranian revolution, the art was stashed away.

This month, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art will publicly display the collection’s works—many of them for the first time in more than 35 years. They’ll appear in an exhibition called “Farideh Lashai: Towards the Ineffable,” which opens November 20.

A retrospective of the works of celebrated Iranian multimedia artist Farideh Lashai (1944-2013), the show will use Pahlavi’s paintings to explore how Lashai was influenced by the techniques of Western modernists. Read more about the show over at Vanity Fair, where you can also check out digital images of some of the exhibit’s paintings, like Rothko’s Sienna, Orange and Black on Dark Brown and Andy Warhol’s Suicide (Purple Jumping Man).

[h/t Vanity Fair]