Persian Art as Culture: A New Iranian Narrative

Michael Craig Hillmann.

Persian Art as Culture: A New Iranian Narrative presents images and accompanying commentary on these ten subjects: (1) Iranian kings, (2) Persepolis, (3) Islam in Iran, (4) Persian calligraphy, (5) Esfahân’s Royal Square, (6) Iranian spring and gardens depicted in art, (7) women and love in Iranian art, (8) Iranian painting since the 1600s, (9) Iranian architecture since the early 1900s, and (10) horses in 2,500 years of Iranian art. Persian Art as Culture situates art objects and forms in a cultural context that draws attention to how and why those art objects and forms resonate for Iranians today, and endeavors to facilitate identification and appreciation of underlying cultural messages and artistic impulses in Iranian art objects and forms that seem essential in any definition of Persianness or Iranianness in those Iranians who produce and enjoy Iranian art.

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Hillmann, Michael Craig

Michael Craig Hillmann, Professor of Persian at The University of Texas at Austin, specializes in imaginative Persian literature as a window into Iranian culture, the nature of lyric poetry qua poetry, literary autobiography, and Iranian art. Hillmann’s more recent projects are: the Persian for America(ns)® Textbook Series, consisting of Persian Listening (2008), Persian Reading and Writing (1010), Persian Grammar and Verbs (2012), and Persian Conversation(s) (2015); and a series of a PowerPoint presentations on Iranian culture, among them: Islam as Defined by Iranian Art, Symbols and Flags of Iran, Sufi Notions of God and Love in Rumi’s Poetry, Iranian History through Slides of Mostly Art Objects, Cultural Content in Iranian Postage Stamp Images, and Persian Art as Culture: A New Iranian Narrative. Among Hillmann’s in-progress projects are a textbook called Classics of Persian Poetry: A Primer for Students and The Love Song of M. Sadegh Hedayat, a literary critical study of The Blind Owl. Samples of his writing, including several out-of-print books and scores of essays and Persian language lessons, are available online at